Wearing contacts for Astigmatism…can’t see a distance

Anyone else out there find this? I have a new stronger prescription and now I feel like I can’t see a spot to save my life especially on a long canter. My eye is usually pretty decent and I don’t think anything else has changed. Could be unrelated but thought it was worth asking. I haven’t ever had such a hard time seeing something - I mean it’s not always a great spot I see lol but I always see something. Now it’s like I can’t see anything. Maybe my prescription is a little off…?

Maybe try mono-vision? Ask your optometrist.

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Is your astigmatism new? I’ve had one for as long as I can remember and contact changes usually never bother me… but I am super blind. (-11.5 in one eye!)

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When my prescription would change drastically as a kid, I remember having issues riding. It would totally change my depth perception so I would have problems finding jumps or doing things like stepping up onto or down from a curb. Usually it would resolve itself after a few days, though, as my body got used to the new prescription.
Have you noticed any depth perception issues during other activities? If they’re super new, maybe give them another few days but if things still feel off it’s probably worth a trip back to the eye doctor.


Sounds to me like your optometrist might have gotten your prescription a little too strong, or perhaps the angle of the astigmatism wrong. I’ve had no issues with my astigmatism contacts and seeing fence distances, I also have quite a strong prescription.

I get that way after a change, and it’s my brain adjusting my depth perception. Takes me a week or so to adjust, effects my driving as well.

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Omg I can’t spot a distance to save my life… was it the astigmatism all along!!! :scream::joy:


This! I have astigmatism in my left eye and wear a fairly strong prescription in both eyes. I’ve had my vision corrected to monovision for years. The left eye is my reading eye, the right, my distance eye. It works!

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My eyesight is corrected using monovision as well. Left for reading, right for distance. I’ve had it for years. At this point, I don’t need to wear a contact in my left eye because I can read quite well without it. (That could change again, though).

Some eye-doctors are skeptical about monovision, and I know that not everyone is comfortable with it. But it works well for a lot of people!

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I’ve had horrible astigmatism my whole life, and my experience is similar to that of another poster - I have regular depth perception issues each time I get a prescription change, but it tends to resolve after a week or so of wearing the new contacts. Mine more regularly is an issue at the side of my field of vision though. Everything is a little distorted as it gets closer toward my peripheral vision. My vision and astigmatism is BAD though, and my doctors have always said it’s pretty hard to get me to 20 20. There is a trade off that happens in terms of trying to get the vision more crisp for reading anything at a distance like street signs, and I can sort of see it in terms of the distortion to the side of my field of vision getting worse as we try and get the vision more crisp.

The depth perception problems it causes most frequently for me lead to me banging my elbows or hips against door jams or the edge of counters for a while as I’m adjusting. I just can’t quite seem to judge accurately where the edges of things are, and how much clearance I actually have. That HAS been a problem more than once when leading horses in and out of stalls and through gaits… depending on the horse, and how good their ground manners and common sense are (one of mine is a bit of a pain to lead anyways, and kind of inattentive and in my space too much, and we have banged into the side of doors and walls together after contact changes :woman_facepalming:). But not as much of an issue under saddle.

I’ve also had issues in the past with my contacts wobbling on my eyes while wearing them and focusing intensely. That HAS been a challenge when riding, and didn’t actually ever resolve in the first few weeks! I talked to my doctor about it though, and switched to a different brand of contacts for people with astigmatism a few years ago though, and I haven’t had any more issues with the wobbling after the switch. I think it was a more common issue for people with astigmatism when wearing some of the older lenses, that used to be weighted.

If your issues don’t get better in another week or two as your eyes adjust, you might want to talk to the doctor and see if a different brand of contact might work a little better for you. Or if they can tweak your prescription a tiny bit. Eyes are weird. Little changes can make a BIG difference.

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when the dr put them in we had to wait for them to fall into place, maybe that is the issue they are moving, I have had a few prescription adjustments over the years but never had this much trouble adjusting myself. It seems like I just can’t focus on the jump, like I said I can usually always see a spot - not necessarily a good one lol - but sometimes now I actually can’t see anything even to just small fences.

Hmmm. That sounds an awful lot like the way I experienced what I can only describe as a “wobble” every time I tried to focus on something a bit further away in some of my previous lenses. And it’s one thing to deal with that if you are sitting still and trying to focus on a sign 30 feet away and read it. The wobble can resolve with a few blinks in a few seconds. But if you are cantering on a horse toward a jump, and the distance is changing as you approach, it’s not going to resolve really…

I’d talk to your eye doctor if I were you. FWIW, I switched to wearing Air Optix lenses with Smartshield Technology that are specifically for astigmatism, and made by Alcon, two plus years ago. I don’t have NEARLY the same wobbling in these as I have in other brands of lenses.

I don’t have astigmatism, but fit of contacts is important (I was noticing some distance finding issues and having to blink more and I think maybe my contacts were moving around slightly), and I also have to go not so sharp/strong with my prescription. The latter is fine because I’m on a computer a lot, so it would cause more eye fatigue if I had my prescription set more for seeing far away really well. I took some time away from jumping and was starting to wonder if maybe my eyes are now too bad to have the good eye I used to have. But I can watch someone else riding and see where they’re getting to. So, it might be something about the conditions are my current contact fit.

I’ve been wearing contacts for astigmatism for almost 20 years, with a stable prescription nearly the whole time… Which means I’m still wearing a dinosaur brand that was cutting edge 20 years ago, lol. I moved and my new optometrist was shocked to discover it was still in production. I was shocked to discover that what was originally sold to me as 4 week lenses is now being marketed as 2 week lenses. Oops. :woman_shrugging:

My left eye’s “perfect” prescription falls between the units available for contacts, and as a result that lens is less stable. I get the wobble/spin that @Virginia_Horse_Mom is describing on a regular but momentary basis because the weighting isn’t quite perfect. My brain is pretty well trained to ignore it at this point – good visual input will come back online momentarily, blink, blink.

I have had issues with general depth perception when changing prescriptions, but that always resolves in a week or two. The only time I didn’t adjust to a new prescription was when it was wrong. So be sure to speak up and ask to be seen again if it continues. Sometimes optometrists make mistakes.

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Wait…are the contacts not weighted anymore? I first tried them 12-ish years ago, and hated them, because they would rotate every time I blinked. But if there are now non-weighted contacts for astigmatism, it might be time to revisit that idea…

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Oooh - you should try some of the newer versions of lenses! I have probably done 5 or 6 different versions of contacts for astigmatism over the last… hmmm… 30 years (I’m dating myself :laughing: and the most recent brand I’m wearing has WAAAYYY less wobble than previous versions. My main challenge now is chronic dry eyes. Part of getting older, and living in a beautiful area with lovely hay fields all around that DO seem to aggravate the allergies.