Toric Contact Lenses
The term “toric contact lenses” usually is used to describe specially designed soft contact lenses that correct astigmatism. Most toric contacts for astigmatism are indeed soft lenses — made either of a conventional hydrogel material or a highly breathable silicone hydrogel. But there are toric contact lenses made of rigid gas permeable (GP) contact lens materials, too.
Spherical contact lenses have the same power in all meridians, so it doesn’t matter if they rotate on your eye when you blink. Toric lenses have different powers in different meridians, so they must remain rotationally stable and move only vertically with blinks. Some toric lenses are weighted at the bottom (below dotted line) to keep from rotating.
- Toric lenses have different powers in different meridians of the lens to correct the varying amount of nearsightedness or farsightedness in different meridians of the eye that characterizes astigmatism.
- Toric lenses have a design feature that enables the lens to rotate to the proper orientation on the cornea so the power meridians of the lens align with the appropriate meridians of the eye for clear vision.
Because every eye with astigmatism is unique, it can take more than one pair of soft toric contact lenses to find the brand and design that provides the best fit, comfort and visual acuity. Also, fitting toric contact lenses for astigmatism takes more expertise than fitting regular soft lenses. For these reasons, getting fitted with toric contact lenses typically costs more than a regular contact lens exam and fitting.
Also, because they have a more complex design, the cost of replacement toric contact lenses is higher than the cost of regular (spherical) soft contacts. The difference in cost will depend on the lens design, lens material, and the optical retailer you purchase them from.