Toric contact lenses are designed specifically for people who have astigmatism. We stock a wide range of toric lenses from the leading brands, including 1 Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism, Biofinity Toric, Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism, Focus Dailies Toric or Soflens Daily for Astigmatism by Bausch & Lomb.
Tips on buying contact lenses for astigmatism
Watch this video for advice and eye care tips on buying and wearing contact lenses for astigmatism.
What are toric contact lenses?
Having astigmatism means that one or both of your eyes have taken on a rugby ball shape. As a result, traditional, spherical contact lenses may move around while you wear them, and your vision won't be as clear as it should be.
Fortunately, toric contact lenses can help, as they're designed to correct this error of refraction, promising a perfect fit and high levels of comfort. Some toric lenses are weighted at the bottom to prevent side-to-side rotation when you blink, enhancing your visual acuity, so you can see without any problems. Unlike spherical lenses, toric lenses have different levels of correction in each meridian.
When choosing a toric contact lens, you'll be asked to enter the power and sometimes the diameter and base curve from your prescription, as you would with a spherical lens. You'll also need to enter the cylinder (CYL) and the axis (AX) - 2 measurements unique to contact lenses for astigmatism. The cylinder indicates how pronounced your astigmatism is, while the axis determines what angle the correction is needed to be at to provide clear vision.
What is astigmatism?
In scientific terms, it's a common refractive error in the same category as myopia (short-sightedness) or hyperopia (long-sightedness). With regards to what you experience, astigmatism causes blurry or distorted vision, because your lens or cornea is not completely spherical in shape, so light can't enter evenly. The rugby ball shape scatters the light across the back of the eye, making it difficult to see clear images.
Except for blurry vision, other symptoms of astigmatism include headaches, fatigue or eye strain, mostly after performing a task that requires focusing on something for long periods of time, such as reading or driving. If any of the above sounds familiar to you, we'd recommend arranging a visit with your optician to see if toric contact lenses are the solution for you.
The different types of astigmatism
There are 3 different types of astigmatism, all of which depend on what optometrists call 'meridians'. If you imagine a clock face, a meridian would be a line connecting 12 to 6 or 4 to 10, for example. These meridians are used to mark out areas of the eye and can cause myopia/short sight (myopic astigmatism), long sight (hyperopic astigmatism), or be a combination of the two (mixed astigmatism). But astigmatism can also exist in conjunction to another eye condition, such as presbyopia - and wearers can enjoy clear vision at all distances with toric multifocal contact lenses.
Astigmatism gets classified as 'regular' or 'irregular'. Regular astigmatism refers to when your cornea is curved more in one direction than the other. This incorrect curvature is the most common classification and is easily corrected with toric contact lenses.
Irregular astigmatism is less common and is most often caused by an eye injury. The cornea, rather than being curved in one direction, curves in multiple directions or is steeper in one part of the surface of your eye than another.
Why choose toric contact lenses?
It's a no-brainer: toric lenses are the most effective way to correct astigmatism. Toric contact lenses are specifically designed to securely fit the shape of your eye like a glove, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit for astigmatic wearers. They're the best, safest method to preserve the quality of your vision and keep symptoms at bay. Plus, toric lenses are the easiest, most fuss-free way of correcting and managing your astigmatism.
Another amazing feature of toric lenses is that they contain different powers for the various meridians in the eye. This means that these lenses can correct the amount of short or long sight in one part of the eye without affecting the rest.
Advice on choosing the right toric lenses for you
When you're looking for contact lenses for astigmatism, it's easy to get confused. Most popular brands have toric versions with a similar name so it's important to double-check that the title on the webpage or the lens box says either 'toric' or 'for astigmatism' somewhere on it. If you see this, you're sure to have the right type of lenses.
Remember, as we outlined above, astigmatism is an eye condition that is unique to each person. This means that not every type of toric contact lens is going to be perfect for you - that's why it's important to have a regular eye test and chat to your optician before choosing a product. Generally speaking, being proactive with your eye health and ensuring you buy your contact lenses using an up-to-date prescription is key to enjoying their amazing benefits.
It's often advisable to stick to the brand or manufacturer that your optician has recommended for you to ensure that you get the best lenses for your needs.
Have you been recommended a toric lens that is an opticians' own brand that you can't find online? Fear not: Boots and Specsavers lenses are basically equivalents of other branded contact lenses, but with different packaging. To find the equivalent lens to Boots own brand look at this table, and for Specsavers easyvision, you can use this table to find the right lens. Plus, order toric lenses from us today, and spend £59 for free delivery tomorrow.
Astigmatism and dry eyes
If you, as a contact lens wearer, have dry eyes, it's worth choosing a lens that is particularly adept at retaining moisture. You should also see if the lens is particularly breathable and lets plenty of oxygen reach the eye to guarantee that your eyes will be comfortable throughout the day. Other features you might want to check for are additional UV blocking and a handling tint for easy application. Equally, you can get effective relief and comfort from eye drops.
What toric contact lenses can I wear?
The two most popular types of contact lenses for astigmatism are:
Bestselling toric contact lenses
Looking to buy cheap toric contact lenses for astigmatism online? Check out our customer favourites:
These handy daily disposable contact lenses use LACREON® technology to create a moisture cushion for all-day comfort. 1 Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism also have a UV blocking filter for an extra layer of defence from sun damage and a 1-2-3 indicator for easy application. The popular Acuvue family includes other toric contact lenses, such as Acuvue Oasys 1 Day for Astigmatism.
As two-weekly lenses, Acuvue Oasys offer you the chance to replace your lenses while providing great value for money. Suitable for dry or sensitive eyes, they also include a UV filter for added protection from the sun along with an Accelerated Stabilisation design to ensure clear and consistent vision all day.
Biofinity Toric are monthly lenses, so they offer great value for money. They also use Aquaform technology to soothe dry eyes and are naturally moist for fresh-feeling comfort even in dry or air-conditioned environments.
Dailies AquaComfort Plus offer the highest levels of convenience and hygiene along with blink-activation technology to release moisture gradually with each blink, reducing your risk of corneal abrasion. They're made with Lightstream technology for a smooth surface that resists protein build-ups, with a handling tint that helps to make applying your contact lenses easy.
Made from a light, flexible material that fits comfortably, Focus Dailies Toric are daily lenses that provide hygienic and healthy vision. They're convenient and easy to apply, with a handling tint to assist you and blink-activation technology to keep your eyes hydrated, perfect for daily wear.
Air Optix for Astigmatism are monthly lenses that provide 30 consecutive days of wear. These lenses use TriComfort technology for healthy and comfortable eyes and are made from a material that retains a large amount of moisture, meaning that they can be worn for up to 16 hours a day. There are other popular toric lenses in the Air Optix family, such as Air Optix plus HydraGlyde for Astigmatism.
As one of the only daily toric lenses that are made from silicone hydrogel available today, Clariti 1 Day Toric are flexible and comfortable lenses to wear. Using WetLoc™ technology to retain moisture, they're also an excellent choice if you suffer from dry eyes and have a built-in UV blocking filter for an extra layer of protection against sun damage.
With an optimised lens shape that fits your eye securely, Proclear Toric are a comfortable and great value monthly option. Using CooperVision's PC technology, these are great lenses to wear for a natural-feeling experience.
Using UltraSync technology for a perfectly stable lens, Frequency Xcel Toric offer consistently perfect vision for the entire day. Made with a high water content, these soft toric contact lenses are ideal if you suffer from dry eyes and have a handling tint to make applying them easier.
Co-written by: Benjamin Dumaine
Optometrist and Head of Business Development
Benjamin Dumaine graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from the Institut Supérieur d'Optique and has been a qualified optometrist since 2003. Apart from being Vision Direct's Head Optician, he’s also the Head of Business Development, where he gets to use his clinical expertise and knowledge of contact lens technology towards supporting all departments of Vision Direct.
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