Can you experience the total bliss of no-strings daily contacts, or does your astigmatism mean glasses are your only option? Spoiler alert: good news awaits.
What is astigmatism?
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already been told by an eye doctor that you have astigmatism (or suspect that you might, based on your symptoms and Dr. Google). Let’s talk about why your eyes are doing what they’re doing.
Astigmatism isn’t actually a unicorn of vision problems, although seeing distorted lights at night might make it feel like you’re in a mythical world. It’s a common condition that causes blurred vision — and most people have it to some degree according to the American Optometric Association (AOA). About 80% of people who need vision correction have astigmatism correction as part of their prescription — it’s more common than you may have expected.
Astigmatism causes blurry vision that can induce eye strain, headaches, and discomfort in your eyes. This is because your cornea — the first place light hits your eyes — has an irregular shape. Instead of curving in a way that focuses light directly onto the retina, this quirky shape scatters the light.
The result? Your eyes can’t focus.
What causes astigmatism?
Astigmatism is usually passed on through your genes, but there are other causes or conditions that can trigger it:
- Existing vision conditions like myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness)
- Eye injuries
- Eye surgeries
- Eye diseases like keratoconus
Astigmatism can get better or worse as you age.
The good news is that, despite what your parents said, you can’t get astigmatism from sitting too close to the TV, reading in low light, or playing on your phone in bed in the dark.
Can you wear contacts with astigmatism?
If you’ve been putting off using contacts because of your astigmatism, wait no more! You can get daily contacts for astigmatism, and they’re called toric contact lenses.
Toric lenses have been available since 1978, and are designed specifically to correct astigmatism. The AOA even says that contacts “may provide (a) clearer vision and a wider field of view” than glasses for people with astigmatism, because they cover your entire range of vision including peripheral.
How do contacts for astigmatism work?
A contact lens for farsightedness or nearsightedness is spherical, and offers the same corrective power to every part of the eye. It doesn’t have a top, bottom, or sides. If you have astigmatism, it will slide around and rotate (as it’s meant to do), and leave your vision as blurry as it was to start.
With astigmatism, you have that irregular shape, so different parts of your eye need different strengths of correction and the lens has to sit exactly the right way over your cornea. That’s what a toric contact lens is designed to do.
Aveo Joy toric contact lenses for astigmatism are engineered with SteadyView, our unique modified prism ballast. The lenses are weighted to reposition correctly in your eye with every blink, while providing the same comfort as a regular daily contact lens.
What are the best contacts for astigmatism?
Your irregularly shaped cornea is unique like a snowflake — no two eyes with astigmatism are alike, and you should start by visiting an eye doctor for an eye exam and contact lens fitting.
Not all toric contacts are created equally. There are definitely qualities you should look for in contacts for astigmatism:
- Design: You want a lens that’s crafted to reduce spherical aberration, and is thin like regular daily contacts to stay comfortable
- Tech: The lens staying in place is the key to correcting astigmatism, so be sure that there’s stabilization technology to ensure comfort and acuity
- Hydration: Look for lenses with high water content (above 50%), designed to attract water and let oxygen into your eye
- Hygiene: Contacts made from Omafilcon A are naturally biocompatible, more breathable, and also repel deposits and buildup
As many as 40% of people in the U.S. with astigmatism cite comfort as the main reason they don’t wear toric contact lenses. The fact that so many people don’t feel like they have eyewear options is what motivated us to create Aveo Joy. All eyes deserve to be happy eyes!