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What are contact lenses for astigmatism?Medically reviewed by Tina Patel, Contact Lens Optician at Feel Good Contacts.
Astigmatism is a refractive eye condition where the cornea or the lens within the eye has an irregular curvature, like a rugby ball. This means that light cannot focus on the retina, and as a result, the vision is blurred or distorted.
Fortunately, astigmatism is not a serious medical condition and can be corrected with the use of toric lenses. Read our full guide on astigmatism to understand the symptoms, causes and treatment.
What are toric lenses?
Toric lenses are contact lenses that have different focusing powers positioned vertically and horizontally across them. The refractive strength increases or decreases gradually as you move around the lens.
It’s important that toric lenses stay in place to ensure they can properly correct your vision – therefore, fitting is especially crucial.
How do I know if I need toric lenses?
Your optician will let you know if you need toric lenses. Toric lenses are a good option for those with a mild to moderate level of astigmatism. Whilst your optician will be able to detect astigmatism through an eye test, recognising the symptoms could help with an early diagnosis if your eye test isn’t yet due:
- Blurry vision
- Excessive squinting
- Difficulty seeing at night
Our vision simulator allows you to experience the effects of astigmatism first-hand. This can help you recognise the effects of astigmatism.
As always, if you’re experiencing any issues with your vision, be sure to visit your optician who will be able to give you an official diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment.
Can I wear normal contact lenses if I have astigmatism?
People with mild astigmatism may opt to wear regular spherical contact lenses, however, this may not fully correct the vision.
Some people with astigmatism opt for rigid gas-permeable lenses as they sit on the front surface of the eye. However, you should always follow the advice given by an eye care professional as wearing incorrect lenses may worsen the symptoms.
Additionally, contact lenses such as toric lenses that are specifically designed for astigmatism should not be worn by those who do not have the condition.
Can you get monthly toric lenses?
Toric contact lenses are available in monthly, daily and two-weekly wearing types.
Monthly toric lenses
Monthly toric contact lenses must be removed and cleaned at night to prevent eye infections.
Our Biofinity Toric lenses are a great monthly lens choice for astigmatism. They can also be worn as extended wear lenses for up to seven days and six nights (if approved by your optician). A reliable choice, these lenses are both hygienic and comfortable.
Air Optix lenses are another popular choice of monthlies as they can be used to correct long sightedness and short sightedness. The silicone hydrogel material makes them highly breathable.
Daily toric contact lenses
Daily lenses for astigmatism are the most convenient and can be disposed of at the end of each day. This makes them ideal for those with busy schedules as they don't require a cleaning and storing routine.
Two weekly toric contact lenses
These lenses offer the best of both worlds. Like monthlies they require cleansing and storing at night. However, they can be disposed of every two weeks and replaced with fresh lenses. Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism is a great two weekly option for astigmatism.
How long does it take to get used to toric contact lenses?
If you haven’t worn toric contact lenses before, you may need time to adjust. However, this will usually take 1-2 weeks. In the adjustment period, some may experience mild issues such as blurred vision and headaches.
If these issues persist after two weeks, then visit your optician who will be able to recommend alternative options.
Quick Links:Can you have astigmatism and be short-sighted at the same time?
Dry eye syndrome
How to apply and remove your contact lenses