Toric Contact Lenses Are Used To Correct The Astigmatism
Have you worn contact lenses in the past only to find that the vision was not good because you have astigmatism? Toric contact lenses are special contact lenses used to correct the astigmatism in your eye prescription so that your vision can be sharper.
What Is Astigmatism Exactly?
Astigmatism has to do with the shape of the eye. Imagine that we took a map of the surface of your cornea. If the shape of the cornea was the same throughout, it would be like a basketball, or what we call spherical. However, if it were flatter in one meridian (e.g., going up and down) and more curved in another meridian (e.g., going side to side), the corneal shape would be more like a football. This is what we refer to as astigmatism.
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How Does Astigmatism Affect Your Vision?
More than blur vision, astigmatism distorts vision. The corner of a square object would look rounded, for example.
This is what vision with astigmatism can look like:
Can Contact Lenses Help This Vision Problem?
Luckily toric contact lenses can help you see well. These lenses come in different materials to fit your daily needs. The designs of toric contact lenses today are much more consistent than they used to be in the past so that your vision stays clear and stable instead of coming in and out of focus.
What Options Do You Have For Contact Lenses?
Some of the options that your eye doctor can offer you include toric contact lenses made of soft materials designed to be worn on a daily disposable, daily wear (generally two or four-week replacement schedule) or extended wearing schedule. Another option is
gas permeable lenses
designed using more rigid plastic materials. Each type of lens has its advantages.
What Are The Advantages Of Wearing A Daily Disposable Lens?
Daily disposable toric contact lenses give you the flexibility to throw away your lenses at the end of each day. This means that you do not need to worry about cleaning and disinfecting your lenses. You do not need to worry about the case being infected because you do not need to store these lenses.
Are You A Good Candidate For Daily Disposable Lenses?
These lenses are ideal for you if: You are a social contact lens wearer. You suffer from allergies that affect your eyes. You are a pre-teen or teenager who is a new contact lens wearer.
If you only wear your lenses occasionally, there is no need to worry if you have left them in a case for too long a time and they have dried out. Because you wear a brand new lens each time you wear contact lenses, you don’t have to worry about deposits getting on the lens surface and aggravating your allergies. Finally, the only thing a preteen or teen who is a new wearer has to learn is how to insert and remove the lenses. Mom does not have to worry about whether her teen is properly cleaning the lenses since at the end of the day, they are just thrown away!
Do These Lenses Cost More?
The cost is a little higher than some of the other soft contact lenses, but remember this extra cost is primarily offset by the savings you have by not having to buy solutions and daily cleaner to clean and disinfect the lenses.
What Are The Advantages Of The Daily Wear Schedule?
You can keep these lenses for two to four weeks, depending on the brand and not have to throw them away each day. If you want to wear contact lenses everyday and you do not have any allergy problems with your eyes, you may want to consider the myriad of daily wear soft toric contact lenses that are on the market. Soflens® Toric by Bausch and Lomb is an example of such a lens. You don’t want to wear these daily wear lenses more than 12 hours per day. Give your eyes a break by wearing glasses one or two days per week.
What Are The Advantages Of The Extended Wear Schedule?
If you sleep in contact lenses, remember this carries with it some risk of infection and complications from low oxygen to your corneas. If you choose to sleep in contact lenses, make sure you are using a silicone hydrogel lens that breathes better than the daily wear, and that will give your corneas the oxygen you need during sleep. Excellent choices include ACUVUE ® OASYS™ for ASTIGMATISM by Vistakon and AIR OPTIX™ for Astigmatism by Ciba Vision.
What Are The Advantages Of Gas Permeable Lenses?
Gas permeable lenses
can be used to correct small to moderate amounts of astigmatism (less than 2 diopters) without having to have a toric design because the more rigid material of the lens gives the cornea a spherical shape. Also, gas permeable lenses are more durable and can last much longer than the soft lens counterpart. Ask your eye doctor about these choices and discuss with him or her which one fits your needs best.
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