Best Contacts for Astigmatism

8 sources cited
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What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a type of refractive error, an eye problem affecting your vision. If you have astigmatism, your cornea is misshapen.

A normal cornea is spherical. With astigmatism, the cornea has an irregular curve. A misshapen cornea changes how light passes through to your retina.

Astigmatism can cause:

  • Blurry vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Squinting and eye strain
  • Eye irritation
  • Headaches

"Astigmatism, if untreated, can give an appearance of images being stretched out," says Dr. Yuna Rapoport.

Meet the Expert

Dr. Rapoport is a cataract and refractive surgery board-certified and fellowship-trained ophthalmologist.

She specializes in laser corrective and cataract surgery, keratoconus, dry eye, comprehensive exams, contacts, and glasses.

She and her team at Manhattan Eye provide a customized approach and plan to each patient’s visual needs.

The causes of astigmatism are unknown. Many believe that genetics play a large role.

It is common for astigmatism to occur with nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia).

Types of Astigmatism

Astigmatism can occur due to irregularities in the cornea or lens. These are known as corneal and lenticular astigmatism, respectively. Both types can be classified as regular or irregular astigmatism.

Regular astigmatism is the most common form. It is caused by the elongated shape of the cornea or lens.

Regular astigmatism has many forms of treatment, including:

  • Rigid spherical contact lenses
  • Toric rigid contact lenses
  • Toric soft contact lenses
  • Refractive eye surgeries (LASIK, PRK, etc.)
  • Surgically implanted toric intraocular lenses (IOLS)

Irregular astigmatism is less common. It is caused by scarring from injury, surgery, or keratoconus (an eye disease).

This type of astigmatism is treated by using rigid contact lenses.

Top Recommendations from an Ophthalmologist
Best Contacts For Dry Eyes - Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe for Astigmatism
Best Daily Contacts - Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe for Astigmatism
Best Weekly or Bi-Weekly Contacts - Acuvue Oasys with HYDRACLEAR PLUS for Astigmatism
Best Monthly Contacts - Bausch & Lomb ULTRA for Astigmatism
Best for Sensitive Eyes - Acuvue Theravision with Ketotifen
Best Multifocal Contacts - Bausch + Lomb Ultra Multifocal for Astigmatism
Best Extended Wear Contacts - None

Correcting Astigmatism

Mild astigmatism might not need correction. Moderate or severe cases need treatment for sharper vision.

According to Dr. Rapoport, laser refractive procedures can fix astigmatism if you are tired of contacts or glasses. These include:

  • LASIK
  • PRK
  • ICL (implantable collamer lens)
  • RLE (refractive lens exchange)

People who prefer wearing contacts need special ones called toric lenses. Toric contacts are designed to have two “powers.” One corrects your astigmatism, and the other corrects your near or farsightedness.

They also have a weight on the bottom to ensure they don’t rotate. Normal lenses have one power, and your vision is not affected if they rotate.

NOTE: Contact prescriptions and glasses prescriptions are different. If you only have glasses, your current prescription won't work for contact lenses. Make sure you have a professional contact lens fitting exam from an eye doctor before purchasing lenses from online retailers.

7 Best Contacts for Astigmatism

We asked the expert, Dr. Rapoport, for her opinion on the 7 best contacts for astigmatism.

Here's what she said:

Best Contacts For Dry Eyes: Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe for Astigmatism

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

Acuvue Oasys with HydraLuxe for astigmatism is one of the most popular contact lenses for people with astigmatism and dry eyes.

They feature HydraLuxe® technology with an embedded wetting agent. This allows tears to wet the lens like they would your eye.

Lens Features:

  • High UV protection (at least 82% of UV-A and 97% of UV-B radiation)
  • Tear-infused with HydraLuxe Technology
  • Material: 62% samfilcon A; 38% water 
  • Manufacturer: Johnson & Johnson

Best Daily Contacts: Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe for Astigmatism

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe for Astigmatism lenses top the list of this category.

Daily disposable lenses are popular for their convenience. You don't need a contact case or solution. All you need to do is throw each pair away at the end of the day.

Dailies can also be better for your eye health. Your eyes contain calcium, proteins, and lipids. These build up on reusable lenses and increase your chance of infection. Disposable contacts are always sterile, greatly reducing your chances of infection.

Best Weekly or Bi-Weekly Contacts: Acuvue Oasys with HYDRACLEAR PLUS for Astigmatism

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

Weekly contact lenses can be worn for one to two weeks. Once again, Acuvue tops the list in this category. Acuvue Oasys lenses come with HYDRACLEAR® PLUS technology. This helps to stabilize the tear film, resulting in less dryness.

Lens Features:

  • Highest UV protection of any contact lens
  • BLINK STABILIZED® design to keep contacts in place
  • Material: 62% polymer (senofilcon A); 38% water
  • Manufacturer: Johnson & Johnson

Best Monthly Contacts: Bausch & Lomb ULTRA for Astigmatism

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

Monthly contacts only need to be replaced every 30 days. Bausch & Lomb ULTRA has MoistureSeal technology and OpticAlign Design, which provides clear vision, stability, and all-day comfort. 

Lens Features:

  • MoistureSeal Technology
  • OpticAlign Design
  • Material: 54% samfilcon A; 46% water
  • Manufacturer: Bausch + Lomb

Bonus: Some patients can use Biofinity Toric Monthly lenses for up to 7 days/6 nights of continuous wear. Not all patients can achieve the maximum wear time. Speak with your eye care practitioner for more information.

Best for Sensitive Eyes: Acuvue Theravision with Ketotifen

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

The FDA recently approved Acuvue Theravision with Ketotifen contact lenses. These contact lenses help people with allergic eye itch. Ketotifen is an established antihistamine.

Best Multifocal Contacts: Bausch + Lomb Ultra Multifocal for Astigmatism

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

If you have presbyopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism, you’ll need multifocal lenses. Bausch + Lomb Ultra Multifocal lenses are the top choices for this category.

They are a monthly lens. They use a 3-Zone Progressive design, which provides vision correction up close, far away, and in between.

Lens Features:

  • OpticAlign design for stable, consistently clear vision
  • MoistureSeal technology maintains 95% of lens moisture for 16 hours
  • Material: 54% samfilcon A; 46% water
  • Manufacturer: Bausch + Lomb

Best Extended Wear Contacts: None

"I don't ever recommend extended wear contacts because of increase in neovascularization (new blood vessel growth around the outside)," says Dr. Rapoport

Why Trust Us?

The Vision Center team spends several hours researching and writing every review page. We scour the internet and base all of our recommendations on:

  • Customer reviews
  • Product details and specifications
  • Company reputation and reports
  • Contemporary scholarly articles 

Every review is then edited for medical accuracy by our medical reviewer, Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.

What Are Toric Contact Lenses for Astigmatism?

Toric contact lenses are astigmatism correcting contact lenses. Unlike regular lenses, toric contacts have a particular orientation and specific features to ensure they sit correctly in your eyes.

Here’s what you can expect in a toric contact lens:

  • A thin-thick zone
  • Lens truncation (the bottom of the lens is partially cut off)
  • Ballasting (the lens is a bit thicker or heavier in some areas)
  • A middle axis
Toric Contact Lens Shape

Most standard contacts are spherical lenses. Toric contacts have a special shape that fits the irregular curvature of your eye.

This gives them different refractive powers to correct astigmatism and any amount of nearsightedness or farsightedness you have.

Toric contact lenses must be properly fitted to your eyes to perform optimally. They are more expensive and may take more time to make than traditional lenses.

Other Types of Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

If soft toric contact lenses are uncomfortable, or unable to correct your astigmatism, there are other options to consider:

Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses

Rigid gas permeable, or RGP lenses, are hard contact lenses. They can benefit people with severe astigmatism and provide sharper vision for high prescriptions.

RGP lenses are custom-made for every patient. They typically have a higher price tag upfront but are more durable than soft contact lenses.

They will last over a year with proper maintenance. This makes their cost comparable to soft lenses over time.

Hybrid Contact Lenses

Hybrid contacts have a rigid gas permeable center surrounded by soft edges of a soft hydrogel material. They provide the sharper vision of RGP lenses along with the comfort of soft contact lenses.

Like RGP lenses, hybrid contact lenses are custom-made for each patient. They are similarly priced to RGP contacts, meaning they are more expensive upfront. However, they cost about the same as soft lenses over time.

Scleral contact lenses

Progressive astigmatism may indicate an underlying condition like keratoconus. This is when your cornea thins and bulges out into a cone shape.

If your astigmatism is progressive, you should consult your doctor about potential conditions and scleral lenses that may help.

Are Toric Lenses Better Than Glasses?

Glasses are a great option to treat astigmatism, and they may even be cheaper than toric contact lenses. Most people only need a single-vision but cylindrical lens, which offsets astigmatism.

That said, if you have corneal astigmatism, in particular, you may benefit from RGP lenses because the lens reshapes your cornea to improve your vision. Likewise, contact lenses can offer better peripheral vision than glasses.

Most people who only need mild or moderate astigmatism correction decide to wear contacts or glasses based on their lifestyle. It’s best to consult your doctor about the pros, cons, and costs of toric contacts vs glasses.

FAQ on Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

Are monthly contacts better for astigmatism?

Monthly contact lenses can be better for astigmatism because they are made with a harder lens material than regular lenses. They also cater to more complicated prescriptions, so they're better for people with astigmatism.

Is it OK to wear regular contacts with astigmatism?

If you have minor astigmatism, you may find regular contacts comfortable enough to wear. However, if you have a moderate to severe case of astigmatism, doctors do not recommend it.

Regular contacts may be too soft and can shift out of place. This can make vision with astigmatism worse. They also do not accommodate the prescription for astigmatism.

Can LASIK fix astigmatism?

LASIK surgery can fix astigmatism because of its ability to reshape the cornea. It also fixes nearsightedness and farsightedness.

What causes astigmatism to worsen?

Astigmatism often worsens if left untreated or from the eye condition keratoconus. It can also worsen with age.

Why are contacts for astigmatism expensive?

Contacts for astigmatism are expensive because the lenses are cut differently than regular contacts. They require a custom fit and a more extensive prescription.

Best Places to Buy Contacts

Best Overall

1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

Also Great
glasses usa logo

GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.

Best Places to Buy Glasses

Best Overall

Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.

Also Great

Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.

Best on a Budget

EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.

8 Cited Research Articles
  1. "Eye Health Statistics." American Academy of Ophthalmology
  2. Ferrer-Blasco, Teresa, et al. “Prevalence of Corneal Astigmatism before Cataract Surgery.” Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Elsevier, 2008.  
  3. Holden, Brien A. “The Principles and Practice of Correcting Astigmatism with Soft Contact Lenses.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2009.  
  4. Holladay, Jack T, et al. “Analysis of Aggregate Surgically Induced Refractive Change, Prediction Error, and Intraocular Astigmatism.” Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Feb. 2001.  
  5. Holladay, Jack T., et al. “Evaluating and Reporting Astigmatism for Individual and Aggregate Data.” Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Elsevier, Mar. 2013.  
  6. Morgan, Philip B., and Nathan Efron. “Prescribing Soft Contact Lenses for Astigmatism.” Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, Elsevier, 2009.  
  7. Remon, Laura, et al. “Visual Acuity in Simple Myopic Astigmatism: Influence of Cylinder Axis.” Journal of the American Academy of Optometry, Optometry and Vision Science, 2006
  8. Uçakhan, Ömür  Ö, and Yağmur  Seda Yeşiltaş. “Correction of Irregular Astigmatism With New-Generation Hybrid Contact Lenses.” Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice, 2020.
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