Do you have a cornea (the front part of the eye) that’s not evenly round? Congratulations, you’re in good company since nearly half the population has astigmatism—a common disorder that can affect vision.
Astigmatism causes the cornea to be shaped more like a football cut in half, rather than a basketball shape. This focuses light differently at the back of the eye resulting in a distorted or stretched image.
Of course you can! Thanks to toric technology, the astigmatism-stricken masses can safely—and comfortably—wear daily, weekly, and monthly soft disposable lenses made from the best materials on the market.
Toric contact lenses correct astigmatism and are often thicker on the bottom to keep the lens from rotating (rotation causes blurry vision). Other designs rely on thin zones that interact with the eyelids to maintain stability, while some use a combination of both.
Torics are more complex to design and manufacture, which usually makes them more expensive than non-torics. They’re also more complicated and time consuming to fit on your eye. If you’ve never worn contacts before, soft toric lenses give you good initial comfort and are easy to get used to.
Toric colored contacts are unfortunately no longer readily available. They can be special ordered through Orion Vision Group or Alden Optical. Talk to your eye doctor about special order options.
Rigid gas permeable lenses (RGP) also correct astigmatism. They’re made from solid material that creates a pool of tears under them to help correct astigmatism. This, by definition, makes them the saddest kind of contact lens. With more significant amounts of astigmatism, a toric gas permeable needs to be used to provide clear vision.
The big pro is they can last over a year, which can offset the larger expense for this type of lens. It can take a little more time for your eye and eyelid to adjust to their rigid edges, but comfort definitely improves with time.
It’s never been easier for people with astigmatism to get crystal-clear, comfortable vision in contact lenses. There are contacts available for over 90% of people who have some amount of astigmatism. Ask your eye doctor which astigmatism-correcting contacts are best for you.
Updated Dec 9th, 2016