Lots of people with astigmatism are under the impression that they can't use contact lenses due to their condition. Well, there's actually a unique sort of contact lens made just to correct astigmatism. The cornea of a normally sighted person is spherical, but when you have astigmatism, it's more elliptical. This seemingly small detail actually alters the way light enters the eye, and as a result, vision is unclear.
The lenses used to correct astigmatism are known as toric contact lenses. Toric lenses have a design that is different from that of regular lenses. Consider them almost like the bifocals of contact lenses; they contain one power to fix your near or far sightedness and another for your astigmatism. They are designed with curvatures at various angles. Due to their multiple powers, toric lenses must stay in place on your eye. This is not the case with normal lenses, which can shift slightly without affecting your sight. Contact lenses for astigmatism are therefore ballasted on the bottom, and this helps them stay in place on your eye.
Toric lenses come as soft disposable contact lenses, daily disposable lenses, and frequent replacement lenses. And people with astigmatism need not worry about options; toric lenses even come in color, or as multifocals. Hard contact lenses, also called rigid gas permeable lenses, have a stronger shape which helps them stay in place, but usually, they're a little less comfortable than soft lenses. There's a contact lens which is just right for you.
Toric contact lens fittings might often need more time than the regular lens fittings you might be used to, due to the fact that these lenses are a little more complex. But it's worth it. With advances in eye care, those with astigmatism have lots of life-improving options to choose from.