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Are There Special Contacts for Astigmatism?

March 16 2022
contact lenses and glasses

For people who have astigmatism, finding contact lenses that feel comfortable and fit right can be a challenge. In general, standard contact lenses tend to move around a lot and offer poor vision quality overall.

Fortunately, you can get contacts that are specially designed to accommodate the conditions that give rise to astigmatism. Read on as a Lake Stevens, WA optometrist discusses astigmatism and how toric lenses are designed to stay in place while also providing a comfortable fit.

What Is Astigmatism?

Your ability to see clearly depends, in part, on how your cornea directs light onto your retina. The cornea is the transparent part of the eye that covers your pupil, while the retina receives and organizes visual input at the back of your eye. When the cornea has an irregular shape or curve, light doesn’t land on the retina as it should.

Astigmatism results when the cornea has an irregular curve that causes it to be shaped like an oval instead of a sphere. This irregularity makes objects appear blurry or distorted.

Toric Lenses for Astigmatism

Standard contact lenses are shaped like a semicircle, which allows them to conform to the eye’s contours. Since people with astigmatism have an irregularly-shaped cornea, regular contacts don’t usually fit properly. This makes any irregularities along the cornea’s surface worse.

Toric lenses are designed to correct astigmatism by conforming to the eye’s contours. They’re specially designed with particular features that keep them in place, including:

  • Shaping along the bottom of the lens
  • Varying thickness made up of thin and thick zones
  • Varying weight or heaviness across the lens

These features work to center the lens on your eye so they don’t slip like standard contacts do.

Types of Toric Lenses

Like other types of vision problems, astigmatism can vary in severity from person to person. To accommodate these differences, toric lenses come in three main types:

  • Soft contact lenses – These work well in cases of mild to moderate astigmatism. Soft lenses offer the most flexibility and comfort, though it can be more difficult to find the right fit.
  • Rigid gas-permeable lenses or RGP – These may take a little while to get used to when first starting out. However, they are more “breathable” since they’re designed to allow oxygen to flow through. Out of the three types of toric contacts, RGP lenses are better able to correct astigmatism, and so provide the clearest vision.
  • Hybrid lenses – These contacts have a soft lens material along the edges and a rigid gas-permeable center. The design offers the comfort of soft lenses combined with the clear vision that RGP contacts provide. The overall lens is larger with thin edges, an added feature that keeps the lens firmly in place. This design works especially well for people who regularly engage in sports or physical activities.

If you have more questions about toric lenses or wish to schedule a consultation, please feel free to call our Lake Stevens, WA optometry office today.

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Grandview Optometry


16616 Twin Lakes Ave
Marysville, WA 98271
(Inside Marysville/Smokey Point Costco)


Monday-Friday: 10:00am-6:30pm
Saturday:  9:30am-5:00pm
Sunday: Closed

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