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Find the Right Contact Lenses for You

Toric Lenses for Astigmatism

If you have astigmatism and want to wear contacts, you’ll need a toric lens. Made from the same material as other contacts, toric lenses come in soft or rigid gas-permeable forms, extended wear, and even in colored lenses. Like bifocal lenses, toric lenses have two powers in one lens, one for astigmatism, and another for nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Lenses That Reshape the Cornea

If you are nearsighted, your eye care professionals may recommend orthokeratology, or ortho-k for short. This is a type of treatment using a special contact lens to reshape your cornea and ultimately improve vision. The treatment results in a temporary improvement in vision that only lasts as long as the contact lenses are worn on regularly. Ortho-k may be most effective if you are only mildly nearsighted.

Some eye care professionals have used these lenses for years. When the FDA approved them for sleeping, they became more popular.

Still, ortho-k is not extremely common because laser vision correction has the same result in less time and is not temporary. Laser surgery is also now an option if your job – such as a military or airline pilot -- was one of those that didn’t allow correction with lasers in the past.

If you can’t have laser surgery, ask your eye care professional if ortho-k could work for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on September 29, 2013

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