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.
How to Correct 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:
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 Contact Lenses for Astigmatism in 2023
We asked the expert, Dr. Rapoport, for her opinion on the 7 best contact lenses for astigmatism.
Here's what she said:
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.
- 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
Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe for Astigmatism lenses top the list in 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.
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.
- 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
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.
- 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
The FDA recently approved Acuvue Theravision with Ketotifen contact lenses. These contact lenses help people with allergic eye itch. Ketotifen is an established antihistamine.
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, providing vision correction up close, far away, and between.
- 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 an increase in neovascularization (new blood vessel growth around the outside)," says Dr. Rapoport.
Why Trust Us
The Vision Center team prides itself on providing helpful reviews for our clients. This helps our readers make the best decision for their vision health. For this article, we did the following:
- Scoured the internet for reviews and based our recommendations on customer feedback
- Reviewed product details and specifications of different contact lens brands to understand their features and benefits
- Read contemporary scholarly articles on contact lenses to ensure accuracy and credibility
- Consulted with industry experts like Dr. Rapoport to understand current contact lens trends
- Sent the article to our medical reviewer, Dr. Melody Huang, O.D., so it can be edited for medical accuracy
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 or distorted vision
- Poor night vision
- Squinting and eye strain
- Eye irritation
"Astigmatism, if untreated, can give an appearance of images being stretched out," says Dr. Yuna Rapoport.
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. The elongated shape of the cornea or lens causes it.
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's caused by scarring from injury, surgery, or keratoconus (an eye disease). This type of astigmatism is treated by using rigid contact lenses.
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
Most standard contacts are spherical lenses. Toric lenses 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're 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
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 sharper vision and comfort.
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.
Soft Toric Lenses
Soft toric lenses are similar to regular toric lenses. The main difference is that they're made from a flexible, soft material. This kind of contact lens is also more comfortable than regular toric lenses.
Are Toric Lenses Better Than Glasses?
Glasses are a great option for treating astigmatism, but they don't provide the same comfort and convenience as toric lenses. Toric lenses are designed to correct astigmatism, providing clear vision with minimal distortion.
If you have corneal astigmatism, 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.
Contacts are a common way to correct refractive errors, such as astigmatism. If you have astigmatism, you may want to choose toric lenses so that the lenses sit better on your eyes. Consult your eye doctor to ensure your safety while using contact lenses.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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.
Can you 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.
In this article
Best Places to Buy Contacts
1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.
GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.
Best Places to Buy Glasses
Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.
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.