There is a relatively common eye condition known as astigmatism, which historically has been corrected primarily by eyeglasses. Contact lenses now exist that can correct nearly all types of astigmatism, so they may be a better option for you, depending on your needs and preferences.
Astigmatism is a treatable imperfection in the curvature of the eye, more specifically either the cornea or the lens has mismatched curves. Astigmatism leads to blurry vision in both the distance and near range. Astigmatism is typically inherited, so most people suffering from it were born with it. It can also happen as a result of an eye disease, pressure put on the eye, injury, or surgery.
One of the contact lenses used to correct astigmatism are toric lenses. These lenses must rotate to work correctly. Everyone's astigmatism has an angle, so the contact lenses must rotate accordingly. If they are out of alignment, the vision is distorted. These kinds of contact lenses, though, are generally very effective for most people these days. When considering these contact lenses, you should keep your expectations in check. While you may not get crystal clear vision like with glasses, it should still be good vision. That mainly is due to the fact that there are about a million different combinations of powers, such as astigmatism power, nearsightedness power, or farsightedness power, and the angle, so these companies can't make every combination, but if one has a low or medium amount of astigmatism, one can get these contact lenses to work well.
The treatment of high amounts of astigmatism can be challenging with Toric contact lenses and in general Toric lenses are more suitable for lower levels of Astigmatism. In some cases, extended parameters lenses can be used to treat high amounts of astigmatism. Although the vision tends to be less consistent with those just because if it even spins just a little bit, it can throw things off when you blink for instance.
Patients with higher levels of astigmatism will usually perform better in hard contact lenses such as rigid gas permeable lenses and scleral lenses. These lenses do better due to the hardness and the fact that they cover up the surface of the eye.
Scleral lenses in particular provide better vision and more comfort as they are more customized to the eye, sit on the white part of the eye that is less sensitive, and have a reservoir for saline to ensure comfort.
You can get additional information or more detailed information about astigmatism contact lenses from our optometrist, who has extensive experience in fitting contact lenses for astigmatism. During a full contact lens examination, our eye doctor will be able to determine what contact lenses for astigmatism are the best option for you.