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Are Toric Lenses Considered Specialty?

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A girl wearing Toric contact lens

For those of us needing an extra set of eyes, glasses have helped us immensely. Glasses have been around for many years, and aside from magnifying glasses, were the only vision correction available for a very long time. Then came the invention of contact lenses, which provided a discreet way of correcting one’s sight without changing one’s appearance. Contact lenses have increased in popularity and are worn by 45 million people in the US alone. That’s a lot of people! But now we have discovered different ways to perfect contact lenses to suit the needs of everyone in every condition. Among the different types of contact lenses on the market, toric lenses offer a specific need. But what exactly are they?

Specialty Contacts

You may be wondering what the difference between normal and specialty contacts are because, well, you have to have a special and specific diagnosis to wear glasses or contact lenses in the first place. But specialty contact lenses are for those who have eye issues related to the cornea. Conventional contacts aren’t suitable for these eye conditions, and these specific lenses are custom made to fit correctly and comfortably to the person’s eye. 

More Than Meets the Eye -Toric Lenses

Toric lenses are a specialty contact lens that fit in the “hard-to-fit” category. So what is the “hard-to-fit” category, you ask? People with conditions such as astigmatisms, presbyopia, dry eye syndrome, corneal scarring, giant papillary conjunctivitis, pellucid marginal degeneration, and keratoconus meet the criteria for toric lenses. These specialty contacts are shaped in a specific way, unlike the standard lenses that have more of a beach ball look. The toric lens is geometrically shaped to create refractive strength, depending on your movement. The shape of these lenses are excellent for people with astigmatisms because they form the lens to the exact curvature of your eye. From color to thickness, these specialty contacts are prescribed the same way as regular contact lenses but have a different optical power. Your optometrist will better fit you for these specialty contacts. 

Types of Contact Lenses

There are at least 2 different types of contact lenses: soft and rigid gas permeable. Each kind is prescribed for a certain set of conditions. But there are sub categories of these two types, as well.

The soft lenses are made of flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. These lenses are more comfortable. The rigid gas permeable contact lenses offer a slightly different advancement. These are thicker and more durable and provide a cleaner, clear Vision. They’re not as comfortable as the soft contact lenses; however, they are less likely to wear out.

Extended wear contacts are made for longer use and are soft enough to wear overnight and for up to 30 days. Much like traditional soft lenses, oxygen is able to pass through to the cornea and it is a flexible and comfortable contact lens. Disposable lenses are a traditional soft flexible lens that you can wear only once and then discard to be replaced with a new set.

Do I Need Specialty Contacts?

If you fit the above criteria for specialty contact lenses, you may be a great candidate for them. Not only do specialty contact lenses help your vision, but they can also increase your confidence in your ability to view things correctly. The best way to know for sure if you are a candidate for these is to get an eye exam with your local optometrist. If you’re currently wearing glasses, that’s a great indicator that you may benefit from these specialty contacts.

If it’s been a while since your last eye exam, don’t wait. An eye exam is crucial to maintaining healthy eyesight and detecting problems before they start. Our staff at Elevation Vision specializes in comprehensive eye exams, dry eye treatment, medical exams, pre and post-op care, specialty contact services, and more. Don’t wait to schedule your online visit today!

Written by Dr. Emily Lemburg

More Articles By Dr. Emily Lemburg

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