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Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

Do you know if you have Astigmatism?

Nearly all adults have some degree of astigmatism, but most don’t find that it interferes with their day to day life; traditionally, astigmatism is diagnosed via a comprehensive eye exam through three primary vision tests (visual acuity, keratometry, and refraction), doctors can see how light is refracted in your eye and determine if astigmatism is causing your vision problems.

Fortunately, contact lenses can be extremely useful in correcting astigmatism — as long as they are carefully selected.

Why contact lenses?

Because:

  1. Lenses provide a wider field of clear vision than glasses
  2. Lenses are less likely to be lost or broken during dynamic activities that require clear vision (such as sports and games)
  3. Lenses are affordable

However, choosing lenses may be more challenging for people with astigmatism than for those with other refractive errors. Not all contacts are designed for people with astigmatism, who often require highly-specialized lenses to focus properly at multiple distances. 

Here are the kinds of contacts that work best for astigmatism:

  • Toric contact lenses, are often the best choice for contact lens wearers with astigmatism because they’re specifically designed to address the problem. The special shape of a toric lens creates different refractive or focusing, powers that can help correct either a corneal or lenticular astigmatism. Soft toric lenses are extremely comfortable, and most people adapt to them easily. They are also available in a wide range of parameters and materials 
  • Hybrid contact lenses, represent a balance between the comfort of a soft lens and the power of rigid lenses. These lenses offer the clarity of rigid gas permeable lenses along with the comfort of wearing soft toric lenses.
  • Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses, RGP lenses are also known as “hard contact lenses”, and are available in spherical or toric designs. Spherical RGPs can correct moderate levels of astigmatism by neutralizing the refractive error in a patient’s elliptical cornea with their spherical surface. However, high levels of astigmatism require toric RGP designs. RGP lenses often hold significant benefits to visual acuity in people with astigmatism, even when it is quite severe. They also do not require to be replaced as frequently as soft toric contact lenses.

Remember, consulting with a qualified optometrist is the only reliable way to choose contacts that provide both comfort and functionality to your case.

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