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Astigmatism is a common condition that affects how your cornea directs light to your retina. It’s a refractive error that occurs due to an abnormal or uneven curvature of your cornea.
The irregular curve limits your eye’s ability to properly focus light on the retina. This causes blurry or distorted vision, making it difficult to identify shapes and details at any distance. It can also cause eye strain, fatigue, and headaches.
Often, astigmatism is present at birth, but it can develop at any age. It may be due to genetics or an eye injury, disease, or surgery. Minor cases may not require treatment, but moderate to severe cases require correction with contact lenses, glasses, or surgery.
Read on to learn more about the types of contact lenses for astigmatism, the best products, and what to expect from your eye exam.
Contacts are an affordable and convenient option if you have moderate astigmatism. Contacts may improve vision clarity, reduce distortions, and offer a wide visual field. They don’t obstruct your vision or interfere with physical activities in the way that eyeglass frames may.
You’ll need toric contact lenses that are specifically designed to correct astigmatism. They’ll also correct your nearsightedness or farsightedness. Toric contacts are thicker, larger, and more stable than non-toric contacts.
Some toric lenses have weight at the bottom to prevent rotation and keep them in the correct position. They’re designed to move with your eye to improve vision.
There are three main types of toric contact lenses.
Soft contact lenses
Soft contact lenses are ideal for mild to moderate astigmatism. Their softness and flexibility offer comfort, plus they’re easy to use and usually don’t fall out. However, it may be more difficult to get the correct fit, and they don’t provide as much clear vision as other types. They may become misaligned, which could require adjustments.
RGP contact lenses
RGP lenses are better able to correct astigmatism and make your vision clearer. They also retain their shape when you blink, which provides sharp vision. RGP contacts stay put better than other options, but they can still dislodge during physical activity. Another drawback is that debris can collect under RGP lenses and causes irritation.
Hybrid contact lenses
Hybrid contacts have a rigid gas-permeable center with softer edges made of a soft hydrogel or silicone hydrogel material. These lenses offer comfort while still providing the clear vision that RGP lenses offer. Due to their large size and thin edges, they’re less likely to fall out during physical activity.
To help you select contacts for astigmatism, we’ve created a list that you can use as a starting point to get a feel for the different types of contacts and to narrow your search.
We chose the following contacts based on:
- FDA approval. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) examines the marketing application from contact lens brands to decide whether they can release their product into the market. We used their list of contact lenses allowed to be sold in the United States.
- Brand reputation. We selected brands offering quality contact lenses from reliable manufacturers. The brands on our list provide outstanding customer service, free or affordable shipping, and satisfaction guarantees.
- Product quality. We’ve listed products that use quality materials and designs for comfort and visual clarity.
Keep in mind that all contact lenses require a doctor’s prescription, which takes into account the best lens for the shape of your eye.
You’ll want to have an eye examination and consultation with a doctor even if you plan to order from an online contact lens retailer to get your most up-to-date prescription.
With regular eye checkups, your doctor can also check the fit of your contact lenses.
We’ve listed the average price and number of lenses per package.
A few things affect how much you pay for contacts. It’s common for retailers to offer sale prices and for packages to come as a 1-month or 3-month supply. Manufacturers also have rebate or coupon programs that you can apply.
Terms to know
Before checking out our picks of contacts for astigmatism, here are some terms to know:
- Dk/t: This measurement states how much oxygen the contact lens lets through to your eyes. The higher the number, the more breathability the contact lens has, which reduces the chance of irritation and damage from the contacts.
- Silicone hydrogel: This material creates a more breathable, soft contact lens that may have high water content or be more absorbent than other materials. Note that each of the contact lens materials listed below — senofilcon A, lotrafilcon B, comfilcon A, nesofilcon A, and samfilcon A — are types of silicone hydrogel.
- Price: $56 for 6 lenses
- Lens type: 1- to 2-week disposables
- Breathability: 129 Dk/t
- Material: 62 percent senofilcon A
Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism makes 1- to 2-week disposable soft contact lenses. They’re made of silicone hydrogel, which offers comfort and breathability.
When you quickly move your eyes or blink, the lenses stay stable, which provides sharp, clear vision. They’re designed to retain moisture and offer the highest level of ultraviolet (UV) protection possible for contact lenses.
- Price: $70 for 6 lenses
- Lens type: monthly disposables
- Breathability: 108 Dk/t
- Material: 67% lotrafilcon B
These monthly disposable soft contact lenses are made with lens materials that help retain surface moisture and protect the lens from deposits that can irritate eyes.
- Price: $70 for 6 lenses
- Lens types: monthly disposables
- Breathability: 116 Dk/t
- Material: 48% comfilcon A
These soft contacts from CooperVision are monthlies designed to be water absorbent. Most users find the quality of this lens comfortable for all day or hours of wear, and the clarity of each lens to be dependable for a solid 4 weeks.
- Price: $30 for 30 lenses or $80 for 90 lenses
- Lens type: daily disposables
- Breathability: 42 Dk/t
- Material: 22% nesofilcon A
Biotrue ONEday for Astigmatism daily disposable soft contact lenses use moisture technology to maintain lens moisture for 16 hours. They provide visual clarity while reducing glare and the halo effect. Plus, they offer UVA and UVB protection.
- Price: $135 for 6 lenses
- Lens type: monthly disposables
- Breathability: 163 Dk/t
- Material: samfilcon A
These multifocal daily disposable soft contact lenses correct astigmatism and offer visual acuity at all distances for people with presbyopia, or farsightedness. They use moisture technology to retain lens moisture for 16 hours.
Your eye doctor can do a routine eye examination to determine the severity of your astigmatism, as well as how farsighted or nearsighted you are. They’ll recommend the best contact lenses based on your needs. Some cases of astigmatism will require custom-made toric contact lenses.
At the end of your appointment, they will give you a contact lens prescription. They can recommend reliable products and retailers and inform you of free trial offers.
Consider factors such as what kind of contact care routine you’re most likely to follow. If you have eye dryness or light sensitivity, be sure to tell your doctor.
After a few weeks of use, follow up with your eye doctor to make sure that you have the best fit.
If you have astigmatism, take the time to carefully select the contacts that will best suit your needs. Astigmatism may require a slightly complicated prescription, so stick to a reputable brand that can accommodate your needs.
An eye doctor can help determine the best contact lenses for you and address any concerns you have. Always follow your contact replacement schedule, and schedule a follow-up appointment after a few weeks of your initial fitting.