Can you recommend a great eye doctor in New York City
May 17, 2008 8:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking to hear from people who have both astigmatism and myopia and have successfully transitioned to contact lenses. Also, if your eye doc is in Manhattan, can I have his/her number?

I have astigmatism (under 1.00) and myopia (under 1.50) and I'd like to start wearing contacts. I'm sort of fed up with frames and I'd like to have another option, and especially avoid getting prescription lenses for all my sun glasses.

From what I've read, contacts for myopia and astigmatism combined can be somewhat tricky. There's supposed to be more issues to be considered as far as type and fitting. I'm all right with that, as long as it works. Did it work for you? Are you a happy, crisp-visioned contact person?

That said, I'm also looking for a great ophthalmologist in NY, preferably Manhattan.
posted by AnyGuelmann to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have less astigmatism than you do, but more myopia, and an acceptable solution has been to wear contacts that correct for the myopia only. Even without the astigmatism correction, I still see better than with those wretched glasses. In theory, my corrected vision should be less than 20/20 (because of no astigmatism correction), but my actual acuity is great; I think my eyes are compensating for each other or something. It may be worth a try for you, because it will allow you to wear cheap and easily-available contacts, instead of the special astigmatism ones, which I tried once and didn't like at all.
posted by Forktine at 8:15 PM on May 17, 2008

I have both astigmatism and severe myopia, and have been wearing contact lenses for twenty years. RGP lenses have been much more effective in handling both conditions than soft contacts (they eliminated the necessity of wearing reading glasses over the contacts, for starters!).
posted by thomas j wise at 8:17 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

I have both much worse than yours and have worn contacts for years. I can still get away with wearing a normal lens in my left eye but have to wear a toric lens in the right due to the astigmatism in it. The toric is much more expensive but without it I can't focus that eye. I don't live in NY, I do use the opt office that is in Walmart. They have done a good job for me for years (affordable without insurance).
posted by meeshell at 8:30 PM on May 17, 2008

I also have both and wear contacts. I agree that you should look to adjust for the myopia - a good doctor will simply do this - and not attempt to correct both. That means my vision is somewhat less sharp in one eye than it might be with glasses, but honestly, in the real world the difference is hardly as noticeable as it is when staring at lines in the doctor's office, and the advantages of wearing contacts are well worth the infinitesimal sacrifice of a tiny degree of sharpness.
posted by Miko at 9:00 PM on May 17, 2008

I have both (also stronger than you), and contacts work fine for me. The fitting appointment lasted about as long as a regular eye check-up, the only thing tricky might be actually putting the lenses in your eyes for the first time. As for lens selection, I've worn monthly and weekly lenses, but when I asked about the ones you can sleep in, I was told that they weren't available. That was a few years ago, I think things may have changed on that front however.
posted by rux at 10:21 PM on May 17, 2008

I have both and have never heard of problems with astigmatism and contacts. I have had terrible vision since I was about 5 years old, and when I got contacts the doctor didn't make a big deal about it. I got torics and it's never been a big deal. The only time I notice any weirdness with my contacts like other people report with torics is a little bit of moving around feeling when I first put them in, and after I've had my eyes closed for a while. My vision is waay worse than yours, and god knows my astigmatism is too. Go talk to your doctor.
posted by MadamM at 1:32 AM on May 18, 2008

Seconding the other toric wearers here. There are more issues, yes, but this is a solved problem. You may be able to get away with just correcting for myopia - if you can your lenses will be cheaper and more readily available - but you don't have to settle for that. More on torics here.
posted by zanni at 4:11 AM on May 18, 2008

My prescription is similar to yours. I'm thinking of trying to get myopia-only lenses next time, as my eyes dry just enough during the day so that the lenses will rotate a bit and stay there, making things worse.
posted by chookibing at 5:36 AM on May 18, 2008

I don't know much about prescription numbers, but here is my situation.

I have myopia and astigmatism and I had contacts for 10+ years with no problems and perfect vision.

Then suddenly the contacts just did not seem to focus as well. According to the eye doctor there is a point where astigmatism just becomes very difficult to correct. Then you have to move to the hard lenses which actually reshape your eye. This sounds scary, but I am told that they can be well fitted and work very well. I don't have them personally though. I just decided I would stick with glasses.
posted by aetg at 6:36 AM on May 18, 2008

I have both (much worse than yours) and have been wearing toric contacts for a long time. I went to an eye specialist a few years ago (for an unrelated infection) and found out I had increased intraocular pressure (associated with glaucoma) AND risk of macular degeneration AND dry-eye syndrome. I tell you this because I know urge everyone to at least once see a specialist (either retinal or glaucoma). It's so worth it, as the LensCrafter types don't catch much. Oh - I also had a tear in my retina (yikes!) which was lasered on the spot (by another doc in the same office). Note: I was only 34 at the time.

When my contacts started to irritate my eyes my specialist sent me to Dr. Farkis whose office specializes in hard-to-fit eyes. My new (though expensive) contacts feel like I'm wearing nothing (on my eyes, I mean). Worth every penny.

Here are the two Manhattan doctors:

Dr. Donna Esposito (associated with Saint Vincent's) 212-255-4373
Dr. Farkas (Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, & Resnick) 212-355-5145
posted by kitmandu at 7:59 AM on May 18, 2008

I use Columbia Opticians (212) 316-2020. Both eyes are astigmatic and myopic, but I've never had the impression there's anything unusual about my situation.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:08 AM on May 18, 2008

I also have myopia and astigmatism, and Dr Bistricer is absolutely the best optometrist I have ever been to or heard of. I've seriously considered going back to New York for my next appointment just because he took such good care of my eyes.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:10 AM on May 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Piling onto the other answers, consider correcting for only the myopia first as a progression toward correcting for the astig., since many people have more problems with those lenses. Let your eyes get used to contact lenses first, then transition to the slightly more annoying ones.

I have a slight astigmatism, but not enough to correct for- even in glasses. But I have pretty strong myopia. -6.5 The one thing that improved my vision better than anything else (besides the transition to contact lenses in the first place) was switching to a lens with UV filtering. I don't know why. But I'd suggest choosing a brand with that in it.

I used to wear the gas-permeable lenses, and hated them. But when I switched to the soft ones, especially the monthly disposable ones, I don't ever notice they are in there. I even sleep with them in (my doctor approves of this).

When I had the non-disposable ones, even with the weekly enzyme cleaner, they would eventually get a buildup on them that made them "grab" onto my eyelid every time I blinked. No fun. The disposables eliminated this from happening. And they're thinner.
posted by gjc at 9:11 AM on May 18, 2008

I've tried both RGP and soft lenses and ended up sticking with the soft lenses. Budget definitely factored into that ($200 once vs. $250 per year), but I also find them very comfortable, don't worry so much about occasionally leaving them in over night, and like that they help stabilize my vision.

If I had the budget for it though I would definitely check out the new leave in for a month at a time disposable contacts!
posted by Salamandrous at 9:24 AM on May 19, 2008

I meant, I ended up sticking with the RGP contacts, oops!
posted by Salamandrous at 9:25 AM on May 19, 2008

Two words my friend: Toric Lenses. Any OD worth his salt will know what these are and help you get some.
posted by mynameismandab at 11:27 PM on May 22, 2008

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