Contact Lenses for Astigmatism: Teen Version

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is distorted vision caused by an unevenly curved cornea. The cornea is the clear outer layer on the front of the eye. As a result of astigmatism, your vision is somewhat blurry all the time.

How can contact lenses help?

Regular contact lenses have the same power all around. Special soft lenses that correct astigmatism (called toric lenses) are available.

Toric lenses are designed to fit the eye "up" and "down". The contact lenses cover the cornea. They change its shape and make it somewhat more even. This produces better vision. Toric lenses are usually thicker and heavier at the bottom. This keeps the lens in the correct position on the eye. Like regular lenses, toric lens may be soft or gas permeable.

Fitting toric contact lenses takes more time and expertise than regular contacts. Toric lenses are also usually more expensive.

For some people, contact lenses correct astigmatism better than eyeglasses do. Talk to your eye care provider if you would like to try contact lenses.

Reviewed for medical accuracy by faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. Web site:
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Last modified: 2011-07-21
Last reviewed: 2010-09-07
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
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