Do You Need Toric Lenses?
If you have a refractive error eye problem, then the results tend to be:
• An inability for the eye to focus on a specific point.
• Difficulty in obtaining a clear image of objects both near and far.
• Difficulty in counting objects when they are aligned horizontally or vertically.
What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a visually “directional” defect, which is a refractive error eye problem. There are two types of astigmatism:
Regular Astigmatism – is a condition of the eye that occurs when views of horizontal and vertical curvatures are not equal. To better recognize an astigmatic eye you must examine the difference between a normal eye and an astigmatic eye. A healthy eye is spherical in that its horizontal radius of curvature is equal to its vertical radius of curvature. An astigmatic eye is toroidal. Its horizontal radius of curvature is different from its vertical radius of curvature (like a rugby ball). In this case the wearing of Toric lenses is recommended because their shape compliments the shape of the eye.
Irregular astigmatism – is often caused by a disease of the cornea and it cannot be corrected by standard spectacle lenses. For this you will definitely need contact lenses. In most cases one eye is worse than the other.
Astigmatism is measured in diopters. It will be considered low if it is between 0 and 1 diopter, 1 to 2 is medium and high if greater than 2. A person with mild astigmatism will suffer from blurry vision. They may also have difficulty in counting objects that are aligned either vertically or horizontally. One of the most common symptoms identified in people with mild astigmatism is a more or less rapid exhaustion of the eye when reading. Such persons may also experience headaches which are (more or less) painful during activities of daily living that require heavy use of the eyes, for example using a computer, watching movies or driving a vehicle.
For a more pronounced astigmatism, a person will be completely unable to perform certain tasks such as reading and counting aligned objects. They will experience blurred vision in front of a screen (like a TV) or while driving (in front of the windscreen glass). They will also be unable to distinguish between certain letters as they tend to merge into each other and the brain has trouble picking them out. Like other sufferers of eye problems, a person with Astigmatism may also squint.
Advances in the field of contact lens design has meant that they can be manufactured to a high degree of accuracy when it comes to an Astigmatic eye. Imagine trying to put saucer onto the end of a rugby ball. It will not be a pretty fit. Put a saucer on a basket ball and it’s a pretty good fit. So imagine trying to put a round contact lens on a misshapen eye. The lens is liable to be uncomfortable and will probably fall out or cause irritation. It will most likely not work effectively too. With a Toric lens it is adjusted in shape to fit the misshapen (non spherical eye) so that is will feel comfortable and will not fall out.
Are there Toric Colored Contacts?
There sure are (although not as many as we’d like)! Faced with the new trend of colored contact lenses, Freshlook, by CibaVision offer colored contact lenses for astigmatism. Freshlook Toric are the only two week disposable toric lenses we’ve found on the market currently. There are four colors: grey, green, honey, and blue. Click here for more information on toric colors. As always, be sure to consult your eye doctor before wearing colored Toric lenses or any other kind of colored contacts.
Do you wear toric lenses? What about colors? If so, leave a comment and tell us which color you want to try.