TORIC LENSES FOR ASTIGMATISM
Astigmatism means the front of the eye, the cornea, and/or the lens within the eye is slightly bent or football-shaped. These different curvatures of the eye cause light to focus in two different points in the eye, one behind the other.
The greater the amount of bend the farther apart these two focus points are and the blurrier the vision. Specific orientation is important in the correction of astigmatism. Astigmatism, therefore, has two factors that determine the correction: the amount of bend and its orientation.
Astigmatism is extremely common in eyeglass prescriptions. There are, however, far fewer patients wearing their correct astigmatism prescription with soft lenses and experience the world with compromised vision. Toric lenses are an answer to a clearer vision with soft contacts. Gas permeable lenses and Synergeyes lenses are other options to correct astigmatism.
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How Do Toric Lenses Work?
A toric lens has two powers. One for the nearsightedness or farsightedness and the other for astigmatism. Since astigmatism can be of 180 different orientations, one combination of power could conceivably be made 180 ways! You mathematicians can begin to understand the enormous number of combinations that could be made.
Actually, with disposable lenses, the orientation, or as it is called optically the “AXIS,” is made in five or ten-degree intervals. Higher powers require more precision and can be made in any axis.
Because the toric lens has more power in one direction, they must resist the temptation to rotate on the eye. Toric lenses are therefore ballasted or made slightly thicker at the bottom of the lens to prevent rotation.
Toric lenses today are vastly improved over their predecessors of five to ten years ago. The new thinner and more stable designs are introduced frequently. One of the newest innovations is a silicone-based lens that has exceptionally high oxygen transmissibility. Another is a toric geared to the dry eye patient that binds water upon it to prevent evaporation.