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Anyone here with astigmatism wearing contact lenses?

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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Brian Perry

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Posted September 03 2005 - 06:48 AM

I was considering getting some contact lenses but the last time I tried (20 years ago or so) they weren't really suitable because I have moderate astigmatism. I've recently started doing some research and it seems that contact lens technology has improved significantly over the last two decades. I'm ready to try it again.

My main questions are the following:

Do "soft toric" lenses work well or will I need to go with rigid lenses? Is there a difference in image sharpness or are there other factors that keep rigid lenses viable in the marketplace?

Do the newer lenses allow sufficient oxygen through to the eye?

Any brand favorites? There appear to be at least four different manufacturers of soft toric lenses.

If I'm able to find some that feel good and give me comparable vision to my glasses, will I be able to buy them online as disposables or will they have to be custom lenses that are intended to last for months/years?


#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Jesse Blacklow

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Posted September 03 2005 - 08:33 AM

I have pretty bad vision and astigmatism in both eyes, and started toric lenses a couple years ago. I just switched to Accuvue Soft lenses--I can't remember the old brand because I switched to glasses for a couple of months to save money--and they work fairly well. Like most soft contacts, they're not meant to be worn overnight, and should be cleaned for 6-8 hours a day. They're monthly, but others are anywhere from every week to every three months. I'd ask an optometrist about the specifics of individual brands and online availability. You'll have to go to one anyway to get them fitted, and because there are different exams for contacts and glasses. Each exam is usually good for about a year.

Vision-wise, they're close, but not as sharp as glasses (none of my contacts have been), but the advantages are peripheral vision and the lack of visual distortion, such as bending. I also had slight chromatic problems with my glasses, in that I saw a very slight yellow "edge" to everything that was near the edge of the lens. Plus, I can wear sunglasses again. It's important to look cool at my age Posted Image.
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#3 of 17 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted September 03 2005 - 09:42 AM

Yeah, I've got astigmatism, and I used to wear hard contact lenses. They were irritating half the time, and it wasn't fun. I gave up on them and went back to thick glasses, until I saw a commercial for soft contact lenses for people with astigmatism, so I got those. Much more comfortable. I've got the kind that work for a couple months, and they come in a six-pack.

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Rob Landolfi

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Posted September 03 2005 - 12:24 PM

I wore soft lenses for ~19 years prior to my PRK surgery a little while back, and I used the Soflens 66 Toric for around 5 years. I thought these were great lenses that handled my astigmatism very well; so well that I never realized I had one until I would take them out for periodic eye exams.

I wore my lenses hard, taking them out only once every week or two for a few hours and switching to my glasses. I'd do a quick touch-up cleaning fairly often, but I left them in most all the time, including sleeping. In my line of work (U.S. Coast Guard), having contacts is (was) so much better than glasses, and I toted my lenses out to sea, over to the Persian Gulf, and to various woodland survival exercises with great results.

I thought that I saw better with my lenses than I did with my glasses, and the only downside was that I always had to have my little bottle of rewetting drops with me anywhere I went. This was favorable to wearing glasses, though my laser surgery has turned out to be the best option for me.

You can get the Soflens online for decent prices (1800contacts.com), and I would think that your eye doctor would be able to let you try a sample pair of at least one brand. Just remember to get a copy of your prescription adjusted for contact lens wear so you can shop around.

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr



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Posted September 03 2005 - 12:24 PM

Been using toric lenses for three years and have had few problems. I use Softlens 66 disposables by Bausch & Lomb. My eye doctor let me try trial lenses from four or five brands before I settled on the Softlens 66. I change them out every two weeks.

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert Marc

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Posted September 04 2005 - 03:17 AM

another guy with an moderate astigmatism here that is succesfully wearing contacts. i wear the accuvue 2's soft contacts with no problems. i change them out every 2 to 3 weeks.

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted September 04 2005 - 03:38 AM

I've got astigmatism and also wear soft lenses. The only real problem I've had is that because they correct for astigmatism there is actually a top and a bottom to the lenses. The bottom is weighted so that it wants to sit in the correct position on your eye. However I've found that sometimes the contact will rotate on my eye and if my eye is a little dry, it doesn't want to rotate back -- making my vision a bit blurry.

When I started wearing them, my optomotrist got me trial pairs of 4 to 5 different brands. I wore each for a few days and picked the one that was the best. If you can have your doc do the same, it's helpful.

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted September 04 2005 - 12:38 PM

I don't think they even manufacture rigid lenses anymore.
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#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Nathan A

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Posted September 05 2005 - 04:24 AM

It took 3 or 4 brands before I found one that worked. The first brand was extremely painful; it constantly felt like there was an eyelash or grain of dirt in my eye. The next brands just didn't sit right on one of my eyes- everything seemed more blurry than it should have. But I finally found a brand that worked for me (Biomedics toric). I'd recommend using a patient doctor that will work with you should you encounter the problems that I did (tho I don't know where you'd find this out, unless you happen to know someone who really likes their eye doctor).

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Janna S

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Posted September 05 2005 - 06:53 AM

Not only are rigid lenses still made, there are some folks (like me) who can wear only rigid lenses because of special eye conditions. Glasses provide only limited correction, and soft lenses are out of the question for me. (I have a cornea transplant in one eye and will probably need a transplant in the other eye shortly.)

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   John Alvarez

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Posted September 05 2005 - 11:18 PM

ACUVUE nothing beats them..... Posted Image

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Max Leung

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Posted September 08 2005 - 09:24 AM

I'm wearing PureVision torics - they work okay. Worst for me was the Proclear Compatibles - very fragile and always blurry. Softlens 66 were better, but still had frequent blurriness which took a long time to rotate back to position. The Purevisions are long-term wear lenses - in theory I should be able to wear them for 30 days straight without taking them out, but the best I can handle is a few days. I have to constantly use eyedrops as I have very dry eyes. Because the contacts are thicker, I can always feel them in my eyes. They are very sturdy and are easy to handle.

Because of my allergies, I have to be very careful - if my eyes get itchy they can turn bloodred if I rub them too much. Once that happens my eye stays red and incredibly itchy for the entire day, even after I take the contacts out. Ouch!

I wear glasses 95% of the time. In fact, I just put in contacts last night, after two months of non-use. Posted Image
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#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr



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Posted September 08 2005 - 03:20 PM

Man, I'd never leave my lenses in for more than a day. I had extended wear lenses in high school and developed a very bad eye infection. Never again.

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   John_Bonner


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Posted September 09 2005 - 02:48 AM

I have astigmatism and have been wearing contact lenses for about 22 years now. I've always worn the gas permeable type. They are semi-rigid, hard enough so they don't fold up but soft enough that they are somewhat flexible. They are also smaller than soft lenses, they only cover the colored part of your eye. I love 'em.

I replaced my last pair about a year and a half ago. The previous pair I had for about 8 years. I rarely take them out. Your supposed to take them out nightly but I sleep with them on, never had a problem. The only reason I replaced my 8 year old pair was because I thought a new pair might improve my vision somewhat. I got the new pair and no difference. Oh well good thing I have vision coverage at work. I still only take them out about once per month to clean them and give my eyes a break.

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Bill Williams

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Posted September 09 2005 - 03:47 AM

Man, I'd never leave my lenses in for more than a day. I had extended wear lenses in high school and developed a very bad eye infection. Never again.

That happened to me, too, Michael, on several occasions in high school and college. Once I changed out of extended wear lenses into the gas permeable lenses that you take out at night, and they'd hold up for about a year and a half each time. I finally stopped wearing contact lenses about three years ago and have gone back to glasses.
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#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted September 09 2005 - 10:31 AM

soft lens for me too. i have (i guess) a severe astigmatism in one of my eyes.

i'm wearing the ciba brand. they're designed for monthly wear, but i rarely wear them 10 hours a day (like i used to). generally i just wear them until they start feeling wonky ... then i change them out.

your doc will prolly recommend (and provide samples for) a couple different lenses for you to try. i'm pretty sure you'll find something that will work for you.

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Brian Perry

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Posted September 09 2005 - 10:37 AM

The doctor ordered a couple of samples, and thinks that some from CooperVision may be best. We'll see...