What Are Toric Contact Lenses, When Are They Used And What Are The Risks/Benefits Of Using Them?

Dr. Colby answers the question: 'What Are Toric Contact Lenses?'

ByKathryn Colby, M.d., Ph.d., Cornea Surgeon, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
December 23, 2008, 5:52 PM

Aug. 24, 2009— -- Question: What are toric contact lenses, when are they used and what are the risks/benefits of using them?

Answer: Certain patients have what is known as corneal astigmatism. What that means is, instead of the cornea being shaped in a round fashion like a basketball, it has a more oblong shape in one of its positions, one of the parts of the cornea -- more like a football rather than a basketball. Toric lenses are used to correct this astigmatism in the contact lens. The main advantage for people with astigmatism is they can get better vision with a toric contact lens because the astigmatism is corrected as compared to a regular soft contact lens; however, sometimes the contact lens may be a little less comfortable to wear and may de-center. The best person to decide if you should wear a regular hard contact --a regular soft contact lens or a toric lens is the person who is going to fit you and follow-up on the fit and comfort of the lenses in the future.

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