What are Toric Contact Lenses?

Mary McMahon

Toric contact lenses are contact lenses which have been designed for people with astigmatism. Unlike regular contacts, which simply correct for hyperopia or myopia, these lenses actually have two powers, one which corrects the astigmatism, and one which deals with the patient's vision problems. Historically, people with severe astigmatism could not wear contacts, but the development of high quality toric lenses has changed this, making it possible for almost anyone with astigmatism to wear contacts if they would prefer them to glasses.

Those with astigmatism who wear contacts typically must wear toric lenses that fit the shape of their cornea.
Those with astigmatism who wear contacts typically must wear toric lenses that fit the shape of their cornea.

One of the key issues with contact lenses which correct astigmatism is that they must remain anchored in place on the eye, because the shape of the patient's eye is distorted. If the contact rotates or moves, the vision correction will no longer be as accurate. For this reason, toric contact lenses are usually weighted to cause the lens to fall into place and stay in place in the eye, with the weighted end being at the bottom of the contact. Patients can put the lenses it at any orientation, and when they blink, the weighted end will be pulled to the bottom.

Those who are nearsighted -- a condition also known as myopia -- can see nearby objects but things that are far away appear blurry.
Those who are nearsighted -- a condition also known as myopia -- can see nearby objects but things that are far away appear blurry.

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Toric contact lenses can be obtained in both soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP) designs. Some patients prefer RGP lenses because they can yield crisper vision and stay in place on the eye more effectively. These lenses are usually very comfortable to wear, in contrast with the true hard contact lenses of the past. They can also be obtained in colored or tinted styles, and in disposable formats, for patients who prefer to wear disposable lenses.

A keratometer can be used to determine if a patient needs toric contact lenses.
A keratometer can be used to determine if a patient needs toric contact lenses.

It is important to fit toric contact lenses properly. The fitting process requires more precision and time than the fitting for ordinary round contacts, and toric lenses tend to be more expensive because they must be tailored to the patient's eye. Patients should make sure that they have a contact lens fitting with a doctor who takes his or her time to ensure that the contacts fit properly and comfortably, and that the patient's vision is truly corrected with the lenses.

High-quality toric contact lenses makes it possible for individuals with an astigmatism to wear contact lenses.
High-quality toric contact lenses makes it possible for individuals with an astigmatism to wear contact lenses.

Even after toric contact lenses have been fitted and a prescription has been written, it is a good idea to have periodic eye exams. These exams can confirm that the prescription is still accurate and that the shape of the patient's eye has not changed, and they can be used as an opportunity to check for the signs of developing vision problems or disease which could endanger the eye.

Toric contact lenses are designed for people with astigmatism.
Toric contact lenses are designed for people with astigmatism.

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Discussion Comments

manykitties2

There is a lot of great technology available now that can make you getting fitted for toric contact lenses a lot faster. I recently went to have my eyes tested and it took all of about a minute to have a perfect prescription made and my lenses designed.

The optometrist made me look into a machine. And while I used to have to answer the yes, no, yes, no to whether things looked blurry or not while they switched lenses, this one was digital. It seemed to know when my eyes were focusing and not. And a light scanned them.

Anyway, it was super fast, and I had my toric contact lenses ready in a week. Check and see if you can find a shop with the latest technology.

animegal

I have just gotten toric contact lenses and it was great to be able to be finally being free of glasses. I was surprised that I was able to get mine so quickly, as the store told me it would take a while to make them because of the unique shape of my eyes (a nice way of saying your horrible astigmatism I'm sure).

I had my pair in a week and they were amazing. I ordered the soft lenses variety and found I had no trouble with my eyes adjusting to the contacts.

I would recommend that anyone who is sick of glasses head to your eye doctor and see about the toric contact lenses.

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