Glasses and Contacts for Astigmatism from Yakima Vision Center

If you just seem to resolve the details of the world around you into sharp, clear visual focus not matter how much you squint or strain, you may be dealing with a common vision problem known as astigmatism. This issue can be somewhat trickier to correct that straightforward nearsightedness or farsightedness, especially if you seek contacts for astigmatism. Fortunately, your Optometrist at Yakima Vision Center can provide a variety of options, including special types of specialty contacts in Yakima.

Understanding Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a kind of refractive error, a structural problem that causes the eye to refract incoming light incorrectly. In this case, the cornea of the eye does not follow a normal smooth contour and spherical shape. The pits and bulges of astigmatism are measured along lines called meridians that may extend from the center of the cornea along regular (perpendicular) or irregular patterns, just as the hands of a clock may be arranged in different relationships to each other. Typical astigmatism of the regular variety results in the cornea that is slightly oval instead of spherical. In some people, astigmatism also affects the lens behind the cornea, aggravating the refractive error.

Astigmatism can make parts of your vision either nearsighted (myopic astigmatism) or farsighted (hyperopic astigmatism). These abnormalities can produce blurred vision, not just at one distance but at multiple distances. People with astigmatism tend to struggle with eye strain and headaches in their efforts to maintain focus on text or other items for extended periods.

Corrective Options from Your Optometrist at Yakima Vision Center

Your  Optometrist at Yakima Vision Center uses sophisticated diagnostic methods for measuring the degree and patterns of your astigmatism in exacting detail. Retinoscopy can reveal the presence of astigmatism, at which point your eye doctor can use a device called a phoropter to mix and match lenses in front of the eye until you can read an eye chart clearly. This gives us an accurate prescription for eyeglasses that can correct for your astigmatism.

Contacts for astigmatism require additional evaluations. Since we must map the irregularities in the cornea with pinpoint precision, we use keratometry and corneal topography to measure each contour closely. Your eye doctor can then provide specialty contacts in Yakima such as:

  • Toric contacts – Toric contacts are shaped and weighted so that they remain in one fixed position on the cornea at all times.
  • Rigid gas permeable contacts – RGP contacts maintain perfect spherical contours as they sit on the cornea, unlike soft contacts which simply conform to the irregular meridians underneath them.
  • Hybrid contacts – Hybrids are rigid but rimmed by softer material, making them a good choice of you find RGP contacts uncomfortable.
  • Scleral contacts – Scleral contacts vault over the cornea completely (and comfortably) to provide superior correction for severe astigmatism.

Contact Your Optometrist in Yakima Today!

Find out which astigmatism correction option makes sense for you. Call Yakima Vision Center today at (509) 965-5200 for an appointment with your optometrist in Yakima!

Your Eye Doctor in Yakima Answers FAQs about Astigmatism

Next to nearsightedness, astigmatism is the most common vision abnormality diagnosed by your optometrist. Most of us are born with a minimal degree of astigmatism but in some people, the condition worsens as they age. If you have astigmatism, the cornea is not round but oval-shaped, which interferes with the ability of your cornea to focus light on your retina. As a result of misdirected focusing of light, objects viewed in your field of vision (up close and far away) are blurry. Fortunately, your eye doctor in Yakima can evaluate the severity of your astigmatism and prescribe contacts or glasses to give you 20/20 vision.

What are Symptoms of Astigmatism Besides Blurry Vision?

People with mild astigmatism may not readily notice their vision is blurry and attribute distorted vision to tiredness or using their eyes too much. When your eyes constantly strain to focus on objects, you may experience eye muscle pain, headaches, or dryness. You really can’t tell if you have astigmatism until you visit our eye clinic and undergo a complete eye exam.

How Does My Eye Doctor Diagnose Astigmatism?

During an eye exam, you will be given a visual acuity, refraction and possibly a keratometry test to determine if you have astigmatism. To assess visual acuity, you will be asked to read letters on a chart at certain distances. Refraction tests involve placing a variety of corrective lenses in front of your eyes to see how well you read the chart. Keratometry testing allows your eye doctor to measure the shape and curvature of your cornea. In most cases, people with astigmatism often have reoccurring nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Does Astigmatism Worsen with Age?

Astigmatism not corrected with prescription contacts or glasses usually worsens as the eyes strain to focus properly without rest. Getting an eye exam every year and treating astigmatism with lenses designed to improve your cornea’s refracting abilities can help prevent worsening of astigmatism.

Can I Wear Contacts If I Have Astigmatism?

Yes! Your optometrist can fit you with toric contact lenses, a special type of soft contacts made from silicone hydrogel or a standard hydrogel material that allows your eyes to receive healthy amounts of oxygen. Gas permeable contact lenses are another contact lens treatment for astigmatism that are rigid instead of soft. While toric lenses are flexible enough to conform to the shape of an irregular cornea, GP lenses retain their shape. Following your eye exam, you and your optometrist can discuss which astigmatism contact lens type is best suited to address your vision needs.

Call Yakima Vision Center Today!

Yakima Vision Center provides comprehensive eye care for all members of your family. If you have blurry vision or other vision problems, please call our eye clinic today to schedule an appointment: (509) 965-5200.