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    5 reasons ODs don’t fit toric contact lenses

    Here’s why these reasons no longer resonate


    1. Cost to patient

    Yes, contact lenses that correct for astigmatism cost more than spherical contact lenses. Comparing costs with our own distributor revealed that some toric lenses cost up to 35 percent more than their spherical counterparts.

    While low, borderline astigmats (usually those with -0.75 D to -1.00 D of cylinder) may prefer their spherical equivalent due to the reduced cost, research shows that patients achieve improved visual acuity in both dim and light environments when their astigmatism is corrected.3 Preliminary research published by the University of Virginia also suggests that correcting astigmatism with toric contact lenses improves driving performance through improved overall tactical driving skills and visual abilities.4

    Whenever I see a new patient, most of the time I’m refitting them from their habitual monthly contact lenses into daily disposable lenses, and astigmats are no different. In fact, 90 percent of soft contact lenses wearers in the practice are in daily disposables because daily disposable contact lens wearers are more compliant and less likely to overwear lenses.5

    Related: Study: Most astigmatic patients would choose to trial daily disposable contacts

    When refitting patients into daily disposables, I explain the ocular health benefits. I believe that because of the ocular health conversation, I discuss cost less than expected. If cost still becomes a sticking point, pull up your clinical bootstraps. Is this patient cost conscious because he is a contact lens abuser?

    Reluctant patients may be more inclined to try toric lenses with a “free” pair (i.e., a trial set). Patients may also need to appreciate the difference in visual clarity themselves in order to understand the benefits of toric lenses.

    2. Too much chair time

    Regardless of lens type or modality—monthly, daily, toric, spherical—contact lens fitting will require added time to allow the lens to settle and stabilize on the eye.

    In a comparison of five major toric contact lenses, 100 percent of the lenses achieved rotational recovery under 100 seconds, even when the lenses were rotated 45 degrees out of alignment.6 Boychev and others found that soft contact lenses typically settle within 10 minutes;7 thus toric or not, the lens will have most likely achieved rotational stability in this time.

    Charissa Young, OD, FAAO
    Charissa D. Young, OD, FAAO, practices in Seattle, WA. Dr. Young is interested in dry eye and specialty contact lenses. She is involved ...


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