Understanding Contact Lenses for Astigmatism: A Comprehensive Guide

A pair of glasses surrounded by contact lenses

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich

Astigmatism is a common vision condition caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens. This irregular shape prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, leading to blurred or distorted vision. Fortunately, advances in eyewear technology have made it possible for people with astigmatism to enjoy clear vision with the use of specially designed contact lenses. In this blog, we’ll explore the types of contact lenses available for astigmatism, their benefits, and tips for choosing and maintaining them.

Types of Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

Toric Lenses

Toric lenses are specifically designed to correct astigmatism. Unlike regular spherical contact lenses, toric lenses have different powers in different meridians of the lens to correct the uneven curvature of the cornea or lens. These lenses are available in both soft and rigid gas-permeable (RGP) materials, providing options for different preferences and comfort levels.

Soft Toric Lenses

Soft toric lenses, crafted from hydrogel or silicone hydrogel materials, are renowned for their exceptional comfort and flexibility. These qualities make them a favored option among contact lens wearers. Depending on the specific product and your eye care professional’s advice, these lenses can be worn daily.

Rigid Gas-Permeable (RGP) Toric Lenses

RGP toric lenses are less flexible than their soft counterparts, but they provide excellent vision correction and durability. They are often recommended for people with more severe astigmatism or those who have not found success with soft lenses. While they may take longer to get used to, many wearers find that the sharpness of vision they provide is worth the adjustment period.

two people smiling wearing contact lenses

Benefits of Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

  • Improved Vision Clarity: Toric lenses are designed to correct specific irregularities in the cornea or lens. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations: while these lenses significantly improve vision, you may still find that glasses offer the clearest vision in some situations. Consulting with your eye care professional can help determine the best option for your visual needs and lifestyle.
  • Greater Field of Vision: Unlike glasses, contact lenses sit directly on the eye, offering a wider field of view without the obstructions of frames. This can be particularly beneficial for activities that require good peripheral vision, such as sports or driving.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: For those who prefer not to wear glasses, contact lenses offer a discreet vision correction option. This can boost confidence and provide the freedom to experiment with different fashion styles.

Choosing the Right Contact Lenses

  • Consult an Eye Care Professional: The first step in choosing contact lenses for astigmatism is to have a comprehensive eye exam with an eye care professional. They can determine the type and degree of astigmatism and recommend the best contact lenses for your needs.
  • Consider Your Lifestyle: Your daily activities and lifestyle can influence the type of contact lenses that are best for you.
  • Trial and Error: Finding the perfect contact lenses for astigmatism may require trying a few different types and brands. Many eye care professionals offer trial lenses to help you find the most comfortable and effective option.

Person washing his hands

Photo by Burst

Maintaining Your Contact Lenses

  • Follow Proper Hygiene: Always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses to avoid introducing dirt or bacteria into your eyes. Use only the recommended solutions for cleaning and storing your lenses.
  • Adhere to Replacement Schedules: Contact lenses have specific replacement schedules, whether daily, bi-weekly, or monthly. Adhering to these schedules is crucial to maintaining eye health and ensuring optimal vision correction.
  • Regular Check-ups: Regular visits to your eye care professional are essential to monitor your eye health and ensure that your contact lenses are still the best option for your astigmatism. They can make adjustments to your prescription as needed and provide guidance on lens care.

person smiling wearing contact lenses

Contact lenses for astigmatism have improved significantly, providing a convenient and effective solution for clear vision to most people with this condition. By learning about the different types of lenses available, their benefits, and the importance of proper maintenance, you can enjoy the freedom and clarity that contact lenses offer. It’s also important to have an extra pair of glasses on hand, and Zenni has a wide selection of eyewear for this purpose. Consult with your eye care professional to find the perfect lenses for your needs and lifestyle.

Avatar of Alyssa Buchanan

Alyssa Buchanan

Dr. Alyssa Buchanan is an optometrist based in Lubbock, Texas. She received her doctorate from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, and has practiced in various settings including Fort Cavazos where she provided eye care for deploying soldiers. Dr. Buchanan has since received her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and continues to strive to provide top-notch eyecare and make a meaningful impact in the eyecare industry.