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Can I Wear Contacts If I Have Astigmatism?

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Golden Gate Bridge showing blurry vision of astigmatism on the left side and normal vision on the right.

Astigmatism can be a challenging vision issue to deal with, but with many advancements in eye care technology, there are now several options available for those with astigmatism to consider.

If you’re someone that can’t seem to keep track of their glasses, or you simply prefer not to have something sitting on your face all day, you’re probably considering contact lenses. But can you wear contacts if you have astigmatism?

The answer is yes! And there’s even more than one type of contact lens that could work for you. This includes toric, gas permeable, hybrid, and scleral lenses. 

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that occurs when the shape of the cornea or lens is irregular, causing focusing issues on the retina. The cornea or lens is the clear front surface of the eye that helps to focus light onto the retina at the back of the eye.

A normal cornea or lens has a round shape, but in individuals with astigmatism, the shape is more oval which leads to a distorted or blurred image on the retina.

Astigmatism can occur at any age but is often present from birth. Symptoms of astigmatism include:

  • Blurry vision that worsens at night
  • Feeling the need to squint
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Eye fatigue

Types of Astigmatism

There are two types of astigmatism, regular and irregular. 

  • Regular astigmatism is caused by a cornea that isn’t completely curved
  • Irregular astigmatism is caused by a cornea with an uneven curve in an eye that isn’t completely round

Astigmatism doesn’t go away on its own and can worsen over time, so it’s important to seek treatment from an eye doctor as soon as vision becomes impaired. A comprehensive eye exam is needed to determine the cause and the most appropriate treatment.

How to Treat Astigmatism

Treatment options for astigmatism include:

  • Glasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Refractive surgery such as LASIK
  • Orthokeratology


Glasses lenses used to correct astigmatism are a little different than lenses for other refractive errors. These lenses have different strengths in different areas to correct the irregular shape of the eye and improve visual acuity.

The cylindrical lenses help to focus light correctly onto the retina, which results in clearer vision.

Contact Lenses

Not only can you wear contact lenses if you have astigmatism, but there is also more than one option available to you!

  • Toric contact lenses: The majority of people can be fit with Toric soft contact lenses. These are specifically designed to correct astigmatism by having different powers in different meridians of the lens. This helps to align the lens with the irregular shape of the cornea and provides clearer vision. These comfortable soft lenses come in a variety of disposable options including monthly, 2 week, and even daily disposable!

Some astigmatism correction can be more complicated to achieve the clearest vision.  In some cases, these patients may require more speciality lenses that may include the following:

  • Gas permeable contact lenses: These are also known as rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses. They’re made of a hard plastic material that keeps its shape and helps to correct the irregular shape of the cornea.
  • Hybrid contact lenses: These lenses have a rigid gas permeable center that corrects for astigmatism and a soft skirt that provides comfort.
  • Scleral contact lenses: These are larger contact lenses that rest on the white part of the eye (sclera) to correct astigmatism, irregular corneas, and other complex eye conditions.


Orthokeratology, also known as “ortho-k,” is a non-surgical treatment option for individuals with mild to moderate astigmatism. It involves the use of specially designed contact lenses that are worn overnight.

The lenses are designed to temporarily reshape the cornea and correct the irregular shape caused by astigmatism. The goal of ortho-k is to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses during the day.

Ortho-k is a great option for individuals who aren’t good candidates for refractive surgery or for those who are not ready for surgery. It’s also a good option for children and teenagers who are not yet ready for traditional glasses or contact lenses.

Correct Your Astigmatism

Contact lenses are a viable option for people with astigmatism, and with the advancements in technology, there are several types available to suit different needs and lifestyles.

Remember that while contact lenses can provide sharper vision and a more active and comfortable lifestyle, it’s important to have regular check-ups with our doctors to ensure the continued safety and effectiveness of the treatment. 

The Doctors at CHROMA will be able to evaluate your specific needs and recommend the best option for you. Schedule an appointment with CHROMA modern Eyewear Eyecare today and explore the possibilities of contact lenses for sharper vision.

Dr. Matt Barber of CHROMA modern Eyewear Eyecare

Written by
Dr. Matt Barber

Dr. Matthew G. Barber began seeing patients at CHROMA in September of 2001. For over two decades, Dr. Barber has worked diligently to provide cutting-edge eye care to the people of Fort Worth and its surrounding areas while providing a warm and friendly environment for his patients. He wanted to give the community of Fort Worth something unique and special, and so CHROMA was born.

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Dr. Matt Barber
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