I have a LOT of Astigmatism. Do I have to wear Hard Contacts?

It is true that high amounts of astigmatism are very tricky to correct with soft contact lenses. Most manufacturers don't even offer soft contact lenses for the highest levels of astigmatism, and so the soft contact lenses that are available can be more expensive. When soft contact lenses cannot achieve sharp enough vision for the patient with astigmatism, Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses can provide another alternative.

Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses work by creating an artificial, rigid surface in front of the cornea, with a shape defined by the Optometrist. This surface then becomes an "artificial cornea" with defined focus properties that sharpen vision for the patient. Obviously, designing this sort of contact lens is very technical, but for the patients who need them, Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses can be very successful, even magical. Doctor Doig still gets "geeked out" when he thinks about how magical Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses can be.

Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses are not for everyone. Because they are rigid, they are not instantly comfortable upon insertion. This has long been the advantage of soft contact lenses over Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses, but if you are motivated to wear contact lenses, and soft contact lenses won't work for you, you can adapt to the Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses and feel comfortable in them after a few weeks of "building up" your wear time.

When the media refers to "Hard" contacts, they are usually describing Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses. Hard contact lens materials do not let any oxygen, carbon dioxide or other gasses pass through them and are not used in our time due to the negative impact on the health of the cornea.

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