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Buyers guide to the best contact lenses for astigmatism

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Let’s clear up one common myth: the misconception that patients with astigmatism can’t wear contact lenses. Astigmatism is a type of refractive error, like nearsightedness or farsightedness, that can cause blurry vision. 

“Everyone acts like [astigmatism] is a big deal and it’s not. It’s just a basic refractive error,” explains Valerie Kattouf, a clinical instructor at the University of Chicago Ophthalmology Department.

As with the other refractive errors, patients have an array of choices for astigmatism contacts, including daily lenses, monthly lenses and even colored contacts.

“Contact lenses can correct almost any level of astigmatism,” says Burt Dubow, an optometrist and past chair of the contact lens section of the American Optometric Association.

Best contacts for astigmatism and dry eyes

The best contacts for dry eyes and astigmatism use special technology to offer added hydration or can be discarded frequently to prevent buildup that can worsen dry eyes.

Here are a few top picks for best astigmatism contacts for dry eyes:

  • Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism — These two-week contacts include UV protection and are designed to keep eyes moist even in dry or dusty conditions.

  • Proclear Toric — These monthly contacts from CooperVision are available in an extended power range, stay 96% hydrated after 12 hours of wear and are cleared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for the claim: “may provide improved comfort for contact lens wearers who experience mild discomfort or symptoms relating to dryness during lens wear.”

  • ULTRA for Astigmatism — these monthly disposable contacts from Bausch and Lomb have “moisture seal” technology that retains 95% of lens moisture for 16 hours.

Another option for patients with dry eyes is to switch to daily disposable contacts for astigmatism. 

Best daily contacts for astigmatism

Daily contacts can be a great choice if you have dry eyes, or you want to put in a fresh pair of lenses daily so you don’t have to clean or store your contacts. Here are a few picks for the best daily contacts for astigmatism: 

“Daily lenses are choice number one for a lot of practitioners because of their safety and comfort,” Dubow says. “They're especially good for patients who have dry eye problems.”

How to get contacts for astigmatism

You may want to start by browsing lens options online and reading reviews to see what other patients recommend as the best contacts for astigmatism. 

Then you’ll need a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting from an eye doctor. You’ll work with your doctor to choose the best contacts for you, test them and make sure they’re a good fit.

“Working with your eye care professional and ensuring they evaluate the lenses on your eyes is extremely important both for eye health and great vision,” Kattouf says.

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