Contacts for Astigmatism

There are a variety of contacts for astigmatism available.  They include Biofinity Toric Contact Lenses, Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism Contact Lenses, Acuvue One Day Moist for Astigmatism Contact Lenses, and Air Optix for Astigmatism Contact Lenses, among others.  These are also known as toric lenses because they are made to correct astigmatism which is the “not roundness” of the optics of the eye.  Many people with astigmatism have been told by their eye doctor that their eye is not round like a “basketball”, but shaped more like a “football.”  This is an oversimplification of the optics involved, but it does illustrate the difference in how the eye focuses light between someone with and without astigmatism.

contacts for astigmatism

For someone without astigmatism, the eye focuses the light onto a point.  The problem is that this point is too far in front or behind the retina.  So, this person will generally see well with a spherical soft contact lens that moves this focused point so it lands right on the retina.  Because this type of lens is spherical and symmetrical, it won’t matter if the lens rotates on the eye because it will still provide the same focusing power no matter how it rotates.

For someone with astigmatism however, this is not the case.  The shape of their eye means the optics of their eye are not spherical, basically the curves going the length and width of the “football” are different from each other and focus the light different amounts.  This means the light will be focused on two different planes.  Therefore, we must use special contacts for astigmatism that are not spherical and account for this type blur to correct this.

While these contacts look similar to standard spherical contacts, their optics are different and so it matters if they rotate on the eye, and the wearer will experience blurred vision if this occurs.  Therefore, various manufacturers have come up with different strategies to stabilize these lenses.  These generally involve making sections of the lenses thicker.  These thicker sections then interact with the lid when the wearer blinks to keep the contact lens rotation stable and provide clear vision.

Prescriptions for contact lenses are generally valid for one year.  I you have a valid prescription you can purchase your contacts for astigmatism from our office with just a phone call.  If your last contact lens exam was with us, we’ll have your prescription on file for you, so there’ll be nothing you have to do other than give us a call and let us know how many boxes you’d like.  If you do not have a valid contact lens prescription, you’ll need a new eye exam and CL fitting or evaluation to ensure good ocular health and vision.  You can schedule your contact lens exam online or call our office with any questions.