/ /

  • linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Educate your patients about astigmatism


    Patients must understand that a more complex fitting procedure will often accompany toric contact lenses. This includes a longer trial time because numerous parameters must be considered and the possibility of using several trial contact lenses. Any additional charges will be reflected upon the complexity of the initial contact lens fit. The contact lens design and material may also be reflected in the expense.

    However, contact lens manufacturers have increased design parameters and reproduction stability in new lens designs, which greatly reduces the amount of chair time needed to achieve a successful toric lens fit.

    For our patients to further understand the complexity of the toric contact lenses, it often helps to explain how the toric contact lens differs from the spherical contact lens. The explanation goes like this: Toric contact lenses have two powers, a correction for distance or near, and a cylinder. The cylinder represents the power that corrects the astigmatism, and the axis of the cylinder location.

    Related: Survey says ODs start fitting toric lenses at 0.75 D of cylinder


    Remember that complications with toric contact lenses are very similar to those with spherical lenses.

    One complication is contact lens intolerance from a patient wearing her contact lenses too long, meaning wearing them longer than the recommended wearing time by the contact lens manufacturer, or sleeping in contact lenses that have not been approved for extended wear. Overwearing contact lenses may cause cornea epithelial microdefects that may develop into serious eye infections.

    New contact lens wearers do not plan to create bad habits; it becomes our obligation to advise our patients of possible repercussions. We educate our patients of the importance of compliance with precise instructions, complete with a full explanation of possible consequences (if directions are not followed), to eliminate the chance of unnecessary complications.

    Occasionally contact lens solutions are not compatible with our patients’ corneas or our recommended contact lenses; perhaps the current solution is not sufficient for contact lens sterilization. This may lead to blurred vision combined with some discomfort.

    We educate our patients on maintaining the care, including the solutions that are compatible with their new contact lenses. We also make ourselves available should patients need to alert us for any questions or obstacles.

    Related: Contact lenses and dry eye: Cause or remedy?

    A complication that has a notably different outcome and very common among all contact lens wearers is dry eye. It is sometimes caused by simply not blinking as frequently as necessary to maintain the eyes natural moisture. When a toric contact lens patient does not blink enough, this lack of blinking hinders the contact lens’ ability to maintain the axis of the contact lens and creates spectacle blur. 

    Tami L. Hagemeyer, ABOC, FNAO
    Tami Hagemeyer is the lead optician at Premier Vision Group in Bowling Green, OH. She is responsible for all phases of optometric and ...


    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • No comments available

    Optometry Times A/V