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Toric Lenses for Astigmatism – How Do They Work?

December 1, 2021

 

If you have astigmatism, it can be difficult to find contact lenses that fit right and allow you to see clearly. Fortunately, advances in optical technology have produced eyewear that can solve these problems. Toric lenses are specifically designed to address the issues that cause astigmatism and permanently correct this condition. In this post, a Los Angeles CA optometrist discusses astigmatism, toric lenses, and how toric lenses work.

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common optical abnormality that occurs in over 80 percent of adults. This condition is caused by an irregularly-shaped cornea, which alters how light lands on your retina. People affected by astigmatism tend to see blurry images and sometimes double vision.

In normal eyes, the cornea has a smooth, round, spherical shape. This allows the cornea to focus light onto the retina, which produces clear eyesight. With astigmatism, the cornea’s irregular shape distorts incoming light, creating two focal points on the retina. These conditions account for why those affected by this condition see blurred or double images.

What Are Toric Contact Lenses?

For people with astigmatism, the irregular shape of the cornea makes it difficult to fit regular contact lenses, comfortably. Toric lenses are specifically designed to address corneal abnormalities. In effect, they refocus light rays as they pass through the lens, allowing your cornea to focus light on your retina correctly.

Custom-made to fit each patient’s eyes, toric lenses have a more oblong shape that compensates for the imperfect curve caused by astigmatism. They can permanently correct astigmatism while also improving your ability to see at far distances. Toric lenses work especially well for anyone over 50 who has astigmatism.

Toric Lens Options

Available in a variety of different options, toric lens come in:

Long-term wear

Daily disposable

Colored lenses

Soft contact

Rigid gas permeable or hard lenses

Soft lenses are the most common since their easier to manage and more comfortable. However, soft toric lenses can be more difficult to fit onto your cornea, so making them may take longer. Hard lenses tend to be easier to fit, but may also be drier, so a longer initial adjustment time is needed. In either case, toric lenses work far better for people with astigmatism than regular contacts.

If you have more questions or would like to schedule a consultation, feel free to call your Los Angeles CA optometrist today!

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