What is a Toric Contact Lens?

toric-contact-lensToric contact lenses are designed for people with astigmatism. Toric contact lenses correct for astigmatism issues that arise from a different curvature of the cornea or lens in your eye (referred to as regular astigmatism, corneal astigmatism or lenticular astigmatism). In these cases, the cornea or lens is curved so that the refraction of your eye differs between the vertical and horizontal planes. This causes blurry vision and trouble seeing fine details.

Choosing Toric Contact Lenses

Toric contacts, like all contact lenses, need to be prescribed by your doctor, who can choose the lenses that are right for your vision, and fit them for your eyes. Fitting is especially critical for toric contacts.

Since toric contact lenses have a particular orientation, they need to stay on your eye in the correct way. Manufacturers design toric contact lenses with features to help the lenses stay put, including:

  • Thin-thick zones
  • Lens truncation, where the bottom of the lens is cut off a little
  • Ballasting, where the lens is a little thicker or heavier in places

Toric contact lenses have a middle axis, like the Earth’s equator, that keeps your line of vision clear. If your lenses don’t fit well and slip, so does visual clarity.

Toric contact lenses can also address other visual corrections, and come in every wear schedule. You can have toric dailies and other disposable toric contact lenses — you can even have colored toric contact lenses.

Toric contacts are also made in both soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP)(hard) lenses. RGP lenses can be better at staying put, but also involve a longer initial adjustment time and can be drier and more delicate. Soft toric contact lenses are more comfortable and easier to manage, but need extra care in fitting to stay in place.

If you have astigmatism and would like more information about toric contact lenses, it’s important to have a full eye examination and contact lens fitting. In Medford, our doctors can help chose the right correction and fit for both your eyes and your lifestyle. To schedule an appointment, contact Medical Eye Center at 800-824-2688 or www.medicaleyecenter.com.