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What are Toric Contact Lenses?

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A woman putting on a Toric contact lens to correct her vision.

Toric contact lenses are contact lenses designed specifically for people with astigmatism. Astigmatism is an eye condition where the cornea or lens has an irregular shape, causing blurred vision at both distance and near. Toric lenses are designed to correct this vision problem by having different powers in different meridians of the lens.

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that affects many people. It occurs when the cornea (the clear, outer layer of the eye) or lens (the transparent structure behind the cornea) has an irregular shape. This leads to distorted vision at all distances.

Unlike other common vision problems like myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens, rather than a change in the overall length of the eye. This can result in blurred or distorted vision, as light is not able to focus properly on the retina.

How Do Toric Contact Lenses Work?

Toric contact lenses are specially designed to correct the vision of people with astigmatism. They have different powers in different meridians of the lens, which helps to compensate for the irregular shape of the cornea or lens.

The power differences in toric lenses are known as “cylinders,” and they work by bending light more or less in certain directions to correct the distortion caused by astigmatism. This allows for clear and sharp vision at all distances.

Types of Toric Contact Lenses

There are 2 main types of toric contact lenses: soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP). 

Soft Toric Lenses

Soft toric lenses are made from a flexible material, similar to traditional soft contact lenses, and can be worn for longer periods of time. RGP toric lenses are made from a harder material, which allows more oxygen to pass through to the eye, making them more suitable for people with sensitive or dry eyes.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP)

RGP toric lenses are made from a harder material, which allows more oxygen to pass through to the eye, making them more suitable for people with sensitive or dry eyes. RGP lenses also provide sharper vision compared to soft toric lenses but may take longer to get used to.

Benefits of Toric Contact Lenses

Toric contact lenses offer a variety of benefits for those with astigmatism, including:

  • Correcting blurred and distorted vision caused by irregularly shaped corneas
  • Providing clear vision at all distances, both near and far
  • Being comfortable and convenient to wear for extended periods
  • Are available in both soft and RGP varieties to suit individual needs and preferences
  • Can be used for both daily wear and extended wear options
  • Are available in a range of powers, allowing for precise correction of astigmatism
  • Can also correct nearsightedness or farsightedness if needed

Considerations When Choosing Toric Contact Lenses

When choosing toric contact lenses, it is important to consult with an eye care professional to determine the best option for your specific needs. Some considerations to keep in mind include:

  • The severity of your astigmatism and the type of toric lens required
  • Your lifestyle and daily activities, as certain toric lenses may be more suitable for active individuals
  • Any previous history of eye conditions or allergies that may affect lens selection
  • The cost and maintenance requirements of different types of toric lenses
  • The level of comfort and vision quality provided by the lens, as well as how quickly you can adapt to wearing them
  • The potential need for additional accessories or solutions, such as cleaning and storage products

Care & Maintenance of Toric Contacts

A close-up of a person's hands being washed using soap and water.

Proper care and maintenance of your toric contact lenses is crucial for maintaining good eye health and clear vision. Here are some tips to help you keep your lenses in top condition:

  • Always wash your hands before handling your lenses to avoid transferring dirt and bacteria onto them.
  • Follow the recommended wearing schedule provided by an eye care professional.
  • Use only the solution recommended for your specific lenses to clean and store them.
  • Avoid using tap water or saliva to clean or rinse your lenses, as these can contain harmful microorganisms.
  • Replace your lenses according to the recommended schedule, even if they still feel comfortable, as they may have accumulated deposits or damaged areas that can irritate your eyes.
  • Always remove your lenses before swimming or showering to avoid exposing them to waterborne bacteria.

Tips for Wearing Toric Contact Lenses

For maximum comfort and effectiveness when wearing toric contact lenses, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always follow proper hygiene and cleaning techniques as recommended by your eye care professional.
  • Make sure the lens is positioned correctly on your eye, as a misaligned lens can cause discomfort and affect vision.
  • Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes while wearing toric lenses to prevent them from moving out of place.
  • Take breaks from wearing the lenses if you experience any discomfort or dryness in your eyes. It is important to give your eyes a rest and allow them to breathe. 
  • Keep spare lenses and contact solutions with you at all times, especially when travelling, in case of any unexpected issues or discomfort.
  • Attend regular check-ups with your eye doctor to acquire the proper fit and prescription for your toric lenses.

Personalized Contact Lens Recommendations at Advance Eye Care

Toric contact lenses provide a solution for individuals with astigmatism, allowing them to enjoy clear vision without the need for glasses. With various options available in terms of type, power, and usage time, it is important to consult with your eye doctor to determine the best fit for your specific needs.

At Advance Eye Care in Regina, we offer a wide range of contact lenses and can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs. Book an appointment with us today to find the ideal contact lenses for you.

Written by Myles Bokinac

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