How is Astigmatism Corrected?

by Jan 18, 2021

As you see the word “astigmatism”, you may recall a moment from your last appointment when our optometrist mentioned this term. Astigmatism simply refers to the fact that the prescription you need to allow for clear vision is not the same in all orientations in front of your eye. It affects both near and far distances and there are a variety of ways to correct for it and allow you to see clearly.

Glasses Can Correct Your Astigmatism

This is the most common option. Your prescription is customized into your glasses lenses, including the astigmatism component.

It is automatically completed when placing a glasses order and is thus not commonly discussed when purchasing your glasses lenses. No extra cost is associated with having astigmatism correction in glasses.

Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

Soft contact lenses are another common choice for individuals with astigmatism. For those with higher than -0.75 D of astigmatism, toric (astigmatism correcting) soft contact lenses are available. Unlike with glasses, these lenses are slightly more expensive, due to the added complication of having extra parameters in the lenses.

The rotation of toric soft contact lenses is important as a specific orientation in relation to the eye must be maintained to allow for proper correction. Unlike spherical soft contact lenses, used for correcting only near or farsightedness, toric lenses are often weighted or otherwise designed to make sure that they sit straight in a certain direction on the eye.

When you are being fitted for these lenses, our optometrists may require more time to select the correct lens compared to a simpler spherical lens. They will assess the fit and rotation of the lens.

It is also important to note that with astigmatism, your vision will often be better with glasses compared to contact lenses. This is because unlike glasses that are customized to each person, these soft contact lenses will be ordered from preset parameters that are only available in specific step sizes. Our optometrist will select the best lens for you based on the availability.

Refractive Surgery and Astigmatism

Those that would prefer to be glasses and contact lens free may consider refractive surgery. Most often, LASIK or PRK are discussed and an individual can get a consultation with a laser center. Depending on their candidacy, they may be eligible to have their nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism corrected with these procedures.

For those with higher prescriptions the surgeon may recommend other procedures such as implantable collamer lenses. This is when a lens with your prescription is inserted into the eye while remaining able to be removed later on in life when cataract surgery is needed.


Cataract Surgery is Also an Option! 

In one’s 60s, cataracts are often discussed and at some point, cataract surgery is warranted. A cataract is a condition in which the lens within the eye becomes cloudy, causing visual blur that glasses cannot fix. In these cases, cataract surgery is needed, in which an ophthalmologist will replace the lens in the eye with a new and clear lens.

This lens can be made with a prescription within it, such that the patient will be able to see distant objects clearly after surgery. Before the surgery, the surgeon will often discuss with their patient the lens options, including a toric lens that can correct for corneal astigmatism.


Our eye doctors at Wilmington Family Eye Care in Wilmington, DE excel in prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 302-299-1286 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about the various options we have to help correct your astigmatism. Our eye doctors, Drs. Daniel Baruffi, Joseph Goldberg, Karen Darrell and Patricia Jones provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Wilmington, Delaware and its surrounding areas.

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