Toric contact lenses

Toric contact lenses are made just like traditional or spherical lenses with a slight difference in the overall design of the lens. They are made with two powers as opposed to one in traditional lenses. They are created for those with astigmatism who also have near or farsighted vision problems. Toric lenses are created with a curvature at different angles. One of these angles of for the myopia or hyperopia and the other is for astigmatism. They are designed to remain properly in place when you blink and will not rotate on the eye.

Being fitted for toric contact lenses is a bit more complicated than being fitted for traditional lenses and takes a bit more time and expertise. The fittings are also typically more expensive than a fitting for regular lenses and toric lenses cost a bit more than traditional contact lenses.

If you have only a very small level of astigmatism, typically between none to just under 1.00 diopter, you can likely wear traditional spherical RGP lenses or soft lenses. With RGP or rigid gas permeable contacts the stiffness of the lens will typically hide the need for astigmatic corrections. When you wear lenses, your cornea will conform slightly to the shape of the contact lens. When you wear soft contact lenses, you may be fitted with a spherical soft lens that is higher powered in order to mask your astigmatism. This is why it takes so much longer to fit you for toric lenses since the actual fitting process itself takes a bit of trial and error to perfect.

Spherical contact lenses have the same power all over the lens. This makes it perfectly fine for the lens to move or rotate on your eye because you can see from all angles of the lens. Toric contact lenses have two different powers in the lens so if they do not remain in the exact proper position at all times, you may not be able to see correctly. Many toric contact lenses are designed to be heavier at the bottom to keep them from moving or rotating in your eye.

Some patients actually prefer RGPs or spherical contact lenses over toric lenses because they offer a better ability to see when the lens does shift or rotate. Most however, prefer toric lenses because the rigidity allows them to retain their shape on the cornea much better than soft contacts. They allow people with astigmatism to have a much clearer vision overall and while many may not notice the crisper vision, those who are particular about their vision or those with high levels of astigmatism find toric contact lenses to be the better choice.

Toric contact lenses are available from a wide range of manufacturers today which gives optometrists the ability to choose the best brand for your unique situation. They are available in frequent replacement, disposable and daily disposable designs making them convenient for all contact lens wearers. You can also find them in a variety of color choices that allow you to enhance or completely change the color of your eyes. Some manufacturers offer colored toric lenses that are also disposable however, most colored toric lenses are non-disposable. Multi-focal toric contact lenses are also typically only sold in non-disposable form. Silicone hydrogel lenses are available as well and are often made for thirty day wear.

If you feel that toric contact lenses are what you need, visit your eye care professional and inquire about the brands that he or she offers. If you have a high level of astigmatism, toric lenses will allow you to experience much sharper and crisper vision while still offering many of the conveniences of RPG or soft lenses. It is important however to understand that toric lenses may be a bit more expensive than traditional lenses so check with your eye care professional to determine whether the added cost will be worth the benefits.

Last updated on Dec 6th, 2010 and filed under Vision Care. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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