Toric contact lenses are special contacts manufactured for patients with Astigmatism. They differ in the shape than spherical contacts because they are cylindrical. Toric contacts need special fitting as they are meant for eyes that are irregularly shaped. Toric lenses feature varying focal lengths to help maintain visual acuity at all angles.
What is Astigmatism & Why Toric Contacts are needed?
Astigmatism is a refraction error which occurs due to an irregular shape of the cornea. In patients with astigmatism; instead of being spherical in shape, eye ball is shaped oblong that prevents light rays focusing at a single point. Since contact lenses are supposed to float on the surface of the cornea, this might cause distorted vision with regular spherical contact lenses. With toric lenses, there are different prescriptions at different meridians. They are also kept heavier at the bottom to help lenses adjust themselves with varying powers at different meridians.
Astigmatism takes various forms. It occurs with myopia and hyperopia and sometimes both eyes may have different levels of Astigmatism with one eye being farsighted and the other nearsighted. Astigmatism is measured by diopters where cylinder determines the strength needed to correct the astigmatism whereas axis identifies the degree of the angle of the cylinder.
Can Anyone Wear Toric Contact Lenses?
Toric contact lenses are specially designed for patients with Astigmatism. They have varying powers at different meridians instead of a uniform power. Only a legit eye care practitioner will be able to detect astigmatism during a routine eye test. You can choose either toric contact lenses or glasses with CYL value to treat astigmatism.
Toric contact lenses are slightly pricier than spherical contacts because of the way they are manufactured. Toric contacts get their name from torus – a doughnut shape. You can buy toric contact lenses either online or via your eye care professional. Remember that not everyone with Astigmatism need toric contact lenses. Most people have some level of astigmatism but it is too negligible to need any kind of treatment.