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Toric Contact Lenses

Far more years ago than I care to mention aloud, an eye exam to track down the cause of recurrent headaches turned up a mild astigmatism in my right eye. I was sixteen years old, and the thought of wearing glasses for the rest of my life was not a pleasant one. The doctor was quite clear, though, that contact lenses were not an option for correcting vision flaws caused by astigmatism, no matter how ugly I thought the glasses made me look.

Well, the entire field of vision correction and contact lenses in particular have come a long way since then. When my sixteen-year-old daughter recently found that she'd inherited my astigmatism, her choices included rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGP), toric soft contact lenses, disposable toric soft contact lenses, even extended wear colored toric soft contact lenses. What's made the difference?

How toric contact lenses correct astigmatism?

To understand that, it helps to understand exactly what astigmatism is, and how contact lenses correct vision problems. The cornea of the eye is a transparent film over the pupil through which light is focused onto the retina. Normally, the cornea is spherical in shape, and perfectly regular. This allows all the light to be focused on one area of the retina to create a crisp, clear image. In an astigmatic eye, the cornea is elongated - more a football shape than a sphere. This causes the light to focus unevenly, on more than one spot on the retina. The result ranges from slightly blurred vision to 'ghost' images and even double vision.

Contact lenses are designed to 'float' on the surface of the eye, held in place by the liquidity of the eye's own tears. They must be fit exactly to the shape of the pupil in order to fit properly over the cornea. Because of the slight malformation of the astigmatic eye, conventional contact lenses could not be fit properly. Toric contact lenses are designed with two or more corrective surfaces placed to focus the light properly through the cornea and onto the retina. Unlike conventional lenses, which are supposed to float and move as the eye does, toric lenses are designed to stay in place so that the corrective surfaces remain properly positioned.

Can toric contact lenses correct your vision?

Generally, if the degree of your astigmatism is mild, either RGP or toric contact lenses may be an option. Eye specialists often recommend conventional RGP or soft contact lenses for cases of mild astigmatism (cases between 0 and +1 or -1 diopters). While the results are variable, in cases that mild conventional contact lenses may help create a second 'lens' between themselves and your cornea of your own tears. This can mask the effect of the astigmatism.

If that's not successful, or if the astigmatism is more severe, your eye doctor may prescribe toric contact lenses. Rather than a single corrective surface, toric lenses are made with two different powers of prescription, set at slightly different curvatures. They also have some sort of ballast or mechanism to keep the contact lens from rotating on the eye, since the correction depends on the corrective surfaces being properly positioned.

If you decide to try contact lenses to correct your astigmatism, then expect to spend a lot of time with your eye doctor initially because of the degree of fitting and experimentation necessary to find the right vision solution. Once the design and positioning are right, care of your contact lenses and your eyes is no different than with any other contact lens of the same type. You can expect that the initial fittings will be more expensive, since there's so much more involved in getting a good fit. The cost of toric contact lenses is also higher than conventional soft contact lenses because the prescription is considerably more complex.

Types of toric contact lenses on the market

With all the brands of toric contact lenses on the market, there are many styles available. You can get toric lenses in extended wear, disposable, daily replacement, and planned replacement varieties, though not all of those styles may be suitable for your individual case. As with any other decision concerning contact lenses, your best advice will come from your eye care practitioner, after he has had a chance to measure and examine your eyes.

As for my daughter, she was lucky enough that her astigmatism is mild enough to be corrected with conventional soft contacts lenses. After discussing things with both her doctor and me, and weighing her own ability to follow directions, she chose disposable one-day wear lenses in color. And some days, just because she feels like it, she wears eyeglasses - because she likes the way they look.

Where can you find cheap toric contact lenses?

ACUVUE TORIC contact lenses, the most popular on the Internet, is available in over 2,000 lenses that can be fit to meet your unique vision needs.

 Compare the best price for Acuvue Toric contact lenses at the premium online stores below:

Online Store Price (US $) Free Shipping Promotion/Coupon Visit Now
Discount Contact Lenses $53.87

On orders over $99

$5 off on orders over $50 (Use coupon DCL5) Click here
AC Lens $53.96

On orders over $99

$5 off any $50 order (Use coupon ACLS5). Click here

 Price last updated on Mar 15, 2019

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