contact lenses, stigmatisms, and reading music

Does anyone have astigmatism and wear contact lenses in band practices? if so, does this problem sound familiar to anyone else?
I could be sittin in a band practice totally fine, no probs - seeing the music fine. then, a few minutes later, everything is blurred and its almost like im not wearing my lenses at all, and all i can make out is the direction in which the notes are going, not the actual notes! not exactly ideal situation!!


Supporting Member
I have worn contacts for band before, but I usually stick to glasses. I think I only have the problem you spoke of when my eyes begin to dry up, which can happen quite often when staring at music.

Neil Glynn

Best person to speak to about this would probably be HorniKaz, she's a dispensing optician, she'll probably know exactly what to recommend.


Active Member
I've got a stigmatism, but I don't wear contact lenses (they're scary!) and I hardly ever wear my glasses because I'm naughty :tongue: although I definately have blurry music sometimes!

Definately one for Kaz like neil said!


Active Member
I wore contacts for 18 years (not the same set, obviously!), but I've had to go back to glasses recently, they just kept drying out on me. they were hard lenses, though. I'm sure it's because I spend a fair amount of time in front of a PC at work, when you stare at the screen you blink less, which causes your eyes to dry out (plus the air in the office is very dry, too). Same thing might happen when you're looking at music maybe?


I've got an astigmatism and wear contact lenses - as someone mentioned earlier they are toric. My optician has always advised me that wearing lenses means that I do compromise the quality of my vision. Apparently, that's the price you have to pay not to wear binoculars !!!!


New Member
Hello, I'm an optician and I play for kirkintilloch. It really depends on the amount of astigmatism and type of lenses you have. It is possible, in most cases, to correct vision to the same standard as your glasses. There are problems with reading music - the most common one is that when you read music/concentrate your blink rate will half meaning that the lenses will not be lubricated correctly and they may rotate in your eyes - causing blurring. There are brand new lenses which your own optician may be able to get..... called acuvue advance for astigmatism. They are excellent.
Other lenses that might be worth a try are Biomedics Toric or Proclear Toric?
The best advice I can give is that you pay for what you a cheap lens will not perform as well as a premium lens.
Sometimes not being able to see is a good excuse for making mistakes though!!!!

Gordon Kyle


Supporting Member
^ what he said!!! It definately sounds like its due to your blink rate being reduced, and the fact you have an astigmatism is actually irrelevant. This is very common problem with people using VDUs as well. Using comfort drops my help a little, but you would only really be able to put them in during a break. It's best to speak to your contact lens practitioner & get his/her advise about which lens will suit your needs (and eyes) best.


tMP Founder
Staff member
Superb advice here folks, many thanks for the expert opinions... I am going to move this thread to the tMP Library - the location for top notch posts.

I had a similar problem with contact lenses too, until about 2 weeks ago when i got the most amazing new ones. They are called 02 and whilst they are slightly more expensive than my others which had a high water content, work a treat. Apparently they are made of silicon which allows the eyes to breathe more, this means you can wear them for longer, cat nap in them and it is even ok to sleep in them up to twice a week if you really need to(handy when you forget to take your glasses for a night away!!!) They are fantastic and definately reduce the problems that have been mentioned above, though this does mean i have no excuses for mistakes in rehersals anymore.



Active Member
In my forties, oldish eyes meant that I neede glasses, (I had thought for a few years that they 'don't make bus numbers like they used to' and a bad telly was the reason for 'bad teletext')!

I have 'atigmatism'. I have four pairs of glasses, one for driving, one for reading, one for the computer, and a pair for reading music. I was warned against varifocals for reading music, and went to my optician with a music stand and a hymn book.

My main problem is that I have to have the stand in front of me, (I used to have it slightly offset, to allow for slide room, and not blowing 'into the stand'). My eyesight means that I now have to read 'straight ahead'. My sight reading will never be as good as it used to be, as 'reading ahead' is a problem, as my eyes are constantly trying to refocus, which has become slower.


Active Member
hmmm, long time no post, but I'm no longer working every hour god sends, so have time for the finer things in life!

Anyway, my optometrist is a sop player, and she has spoken about these things a little to me. But, I have not been provided with a complete solution to the reading music problem (i only started wearing lenses a month ago).

The first thing is that I work with VDUs all day, and now just lubricate my eyes automatically (my blinks take a little longer, and I roll my eyes slightly (to wipe off bits and bobs?)). With regard to playing, I have noticed the same problems initially, but I wear silicon lenses only similar to the ones mentioned earlier. Mine are much harder than others, but I don't have to remove them for a month. I'm trying a day without them at the moment, and there has been no re-oxidation feeling as with some previous sofy lenses I had. In actuality I have to fiddle with my glasses more. When I play though I get the slight blurring, which is due to the dry up of the lenses. However I have implemented a 'failsafe' ;) procedure! everytime i breathe, I blink. It takes some discipline and some mistakes (not blinking in time for example!) but finally I find that wearing contacts makes very little difference to me, apart from the need to keep myself hydrated much better.

Hope this helps,


ps, I have an astigmatism, but don't wear toric lenses. depending on tiredness, one eye is more in focus than the other, so pretty much all the time, at least one eye is in focus!


New Member
Very interesting reading - I did my honours degree project on the need to consider spectacle correct for musicians - with some variable results!! The truth is that everyone is different - that's what makes my job very interesting. I would disagree that position of stand (if off-set) will make a big difference because you will tend to turn your head and not your eyes - using your central vision to include the object of regard (the music) The distance of the stand is the most important variable - it definitely will dictate the size of the music (angular magnification) The other issue is to adopt the optimum playing posture - don't compromise that!!!!

Some other good contact lens advice is to keep yourself as hydrated as possible - drink plenty of water.
Eat plenty of foods rich in omega-3s - oily fish etc
Try taking an evening primrose supplement?
Avoid using oil based make up around the eyes (ladies!)
Drops will only provide short term relief - generally people are happier if a long term solution is found.

Hope this helps?


Active Member
Yes I've also had the same problem with my lenses and it makes sight reading difficult (i must stare more when sightreading!) I just tend to blink madly when ive got a few beats rest or a long note to reydrate my eyes, it must look quite strange! I think my contacts are the standard specsavers ones, does any one know how much more acuvue ones are?
Unfortunately I have the same prescription and attempted contact lenses but due to the heavy weighing, any time I did blink (at a reduced rate to normal) they swirled around in my eyes causing blurring until the weights settled accordingly. Although it resembled the feeling of slight intoxication, it was most inconvenient.

Just wanted to show empathy.

As for a solution - I reverted back to the old traditional specs.

Best of luck in your search for a 'solution'.


Active Member
Kari Anson said:
Unfortunately I have the same prescription and attempted contact lenses but due to the heavy weighing, any time I did blink (at a reduced rate to normal) they swirled around in my eyes causing blurring until the weights settled accordingly. Although it resembled the feeling of slight intoxication, it was most inconvenient.

This is exactly what happened with me. I tried every make they had to offer, eventually found one that didn't spin when I wore them for a day and placed an order. The very next pair I had spun again. I'm now stuck with 28 pairs of contact lenses and can't be bothered to go to the effort to put them in again for fear of the same result of spinning lenses and blurry vision again. :mad:

Big Twigge

Active Member
Well not sure on the finer points of contact lenses really, but the only problem I have is when I concentrate really hard (particularly at band) and forget to blink with my right eye. I've found that subsequent obsessive blinking/winking clears it, I don't find it a major inconvenience, just reminds me to blink with both eyes, not just one!