If your eyeglass or contact lens prescription contains three parts rather than one, your eye care practitioner has found some astigmatism in one or both of your eyes. A prescription with three parts looks like this: -1.00-1.25@180. The first number indicates the amount of power (in diopters) required in a lens to improve your vision (usually to 20/20). If the sign in front of the first number is negative (-), it means the person is nearsighted (myopic), if the sign is positive, it means the person is farsighted (hyperopic). The second number shows the extent of the astigmatism. The third number is the axis of the cylinder required to correct astigmatic part of the prescription.
Many people think that they are not able to wear contact lenses if they have astigmatism. However, this is not true. Contact lens industry has improved dramatically over the years and toric contact lenses are able to correct astigmatism as well as or even better than glasses! Toric contact lenses or lenses for astigmatism are widely available. For example, Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism are 2 week disposable lenses that correct moderate to high degrees of astigmatism and are great for people suffering from dry eyes. Proclear Toric contact lenses are a good fit for those who prefer monthly disposable lenses and Air Optix for Astigmatism are perfect lenses for those who are seeking extended wear lenses. There are many choices and eye doctor will determine the lens that is right for a particular patient.