One of the most beneficial advances in the contact lens industry has been the introduction of new and improved toric contact lenses to correct astigmatism.
Astigmatism is a vision condition that occurs when the front surface of your eye, the cornea, is slightly irregular in shape. This irregular shape prevents light from focusing properly on the back of your eye, the retina. As a result, your vision may be blurred at all distances.
Previously, astigmatic patients were rarely presented with any options in contact lenses, because eye doctors were reluctant to fit these lenses (most often RGP) due to a belief that they were hard to fit and didn’t perform well. As a result, many astigmatic patients are not aware of the options available to them. Not to mention, some were previously told that contact lenses were simply not viable for them. But with manufacturers of soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses continually coming up with new technology, and improving upon existing products, this is clearly not the case now.
For greater amounts of astigmatism (greater than 1.00D, but less than 2.00D) the astigmatism will often be corrected with either a rigid gas permeable lens, which are very effective at correcting astigmatism, or by using a soft toric lens. Without this correction the vision can be quite blurred. These lenses are often replaced on a monthly cycle
The Soft Toric Solution
On the soft lens side, torics are now disposable and available in very low astigmatic-correcting powers. Soft toric lenses are indicated for individuals who both prefer and are good candidates for soft lenses but require a correction for, at minimum, 0.50D of refractive astigmatism. Numerous clinical studies have concluded that even with as little as -0.75D of refractive astigmatism, patients favor a soft toric as compared to having it uncorrected with a spherical soft lens, which some eye doctors prefer.
The RGP Solution
Rigid gas permeable (RGP) toric lenses have gotten better as a result of the advancements in manufacturing technology and equipment. All this adds up to better optical quality. The rigidness of RGPs can help mask a need for an astigmatic correction, by helping your eye conform to the shape of the contact lens.
Your eye doctor can help you choose the option that best meets your vision needs.