When explaining this condition, this metaphor is often used. Essentially, the condition exists when your retina is shaped like a football, whereas a normal retina is a sphere. There are actually two different types of an astigmatism. A regular astigmatism is what most people will have. Essentially, the part of the eye that requires the most power is 90 degrees away from the part that requires the least power. Because this problem is a symmetrical problem, the correct contact lenses can often fix this condition. An irregular astigmatism is when the cornea is is not smooth and/or not asymmetrical Unfortunately, at this point there are no traditional lenses or glasses that can fix this problem. However, sometimes rigid, gas permeable lenses are medically required.
Currently there are two different types of contact lenses that can help correct a regular astigmatism. The first are GP or Gas Permeable lenses. These lenses are semi-hard and will normally smaller than traditional corrective lenses. Essentially, these lenses are perfectly spherical and your eyes natural moisture will fill in the small gaps that exist between your eye and the lens They are popular because they allow for clear and stable correction without surgery and are often the most economical choice. However, if this is your first time wearing lenses then it may take some time for them to feel comfortable. This is particularly because the material used is a little more solid and leaves a small space between your eye and the contact itself.
Soft toric lenses are the other common option. They are made from a hydrophilic material and has built-in opposing meridians. The key for these to be effective is that the lens must be properly aligned to the right parts of the eye. To date, there are a variety of different lens designs to accomplish this, however the most commonly used design is a prism ballast. Essentially part of the lens is thicker so it will naturally rest on the bottom portion of the eye. The biggest advantage of this type of lens is that they are naturally very comfortable and highly adaptable. This is also the only lens that allows for overnight wear and comes in a variety of colors.
While an astigmatism is one of the most annoying eye health problems, it is also one of the easiest to correct. There are currently two different types of contact lenses: Gas Permeable and Soft Toric. Each of these types of contact lenses brings a different set of unique advantages and disadvantages to take into consideration The key is to find the best solution for your specific situation and make sure to do your research about each product before making a final decision.