Ever been told that you have astigmatism and can’t wear contact lenses?
Today there are plenty of excellent options for correcting astigmatism with contact lenses.
Learn more as we discuss the most suitable types of contact lenses for astigmatism.
Check out this video by Dr Joseph Allen (Doctor Eye Health):
Toric contact lenses
The term “toric contact lenses” is generally used to describe soft contact lenses that are designed to correct astigmatism.
Spherical contact lenses have the same power in all meridians, so it doesn’t matter if they rotate when you blink. They are like a soccer ball.
However, toric contact lens power varies at each meridian so they must remain rotationally stable, like the shape of a rugby ball.
Toric contact lenses differ from regular (“spherical”) contact lenses that correct only short sightedness or long sightedness.
Toric contact lenses have a design feature that enables the lens to rotate to the proper orientation on the cornea so the power meridians of the lens align with the appropriate meridians of the eye for clear vision.
Most toric contact lenses are weighted at the bottom to prevent rotation.
Every eye with astigmatism is unique, so it can take more than one pair of soft toric contact lenses to find the brand and design that provides the best fit, comfort and visual acuity. At Ezekiel Eyes we specialise in the fitting of toric contact lenses
Fitting toric contact lenses for astigmatism takes more expertise than fitting regular soft contact lenses.
At Ezekiel Eyes we fit our patients with toric contact lenses that may cost more than a regular contact lens exam and fitting.
Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses
Rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGP contact lenses) and scleral contact lenses are a very popular type of contact lenses to correct astigmatism.
Rigid contact lenses can correct astigmatism without a toric design and due to the rigidity of the lenses they retain their spherical shape on the eye and this provides a new front to the eye.
However soft lenses wrap on to the irregular shape of the cornea of an eye with an astigmatism and the visual outcome is not 100%.
For higher amounts or unusual types of astigmatism, there also are rigid contact lenses for astigmatism that feature toric designs. In most cases standard Rigid contact lenses correct astigmatism exceptionally well.
Many patients at Ezekiel Eyes with astigmatism who are fitted with rigid contact lenses find their vision is noticeably sharper with rigid lenses than with toric soft contact lenses.
However, due to the rigid nature and thicker profile of gas permeable contacts, these lenses typically take a little more time to adjust to. For some patients the sensation of RGP lenses on their eyes can take some settling time.
At Ezekiel Eyes the fitting of rigid contact lenses takes more time and expertise than fitting soft contact lenses (including toric soft lenses). Every rigid contact lens is custom-made to parameters specified by your optometrist at Ezekiel Eyes.
Hybrid contact lenses
For some of our patients at Ezekiel Eyes who require contact lenses for astigmatism, hybrid contact lenses can be an ideal choice. These contact lenses have a central zone made of a rigid gas permeable lens material, surrounded by a fitting zone (or “skirt”) made of a soft hydrogel or silicone hydrogel material.
When successfully fitted, hybrid contact lenses provide the best of both types of contact lenses for astigmatism — the very sharp vision of rigid contact lenses and comfort that’s comparable to wearing soft lenses.
Fitting hybrid contact lenses — like fitting gas permeable contacts — takes more time and expertise than fitting soft contact lenses and like rigid contact lenses. These lenses are custom-made for each patients eyes.
Consult your Optometrist at Ezekiel Eyes
If you have astigmatism and want to wear contact lenses please contact the Ezekiel Eyes team, who specialises in fitting of all types of contact lenses for astigmatism.
During a comprehensive eye examination and contact lens consultation, we will inform you whether you are a good candidate for contact lens wear and which astigmatism-correcting contact lenses are best suited for your specific needs.