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.