Truth or myth: Spectacle lenses provide better visual acuity than soft toric contact lenses?

This month, in our series looking at common myths concerning contact lenses, Stephanie Wong and David Ruston consider soft torics

An international survey conducted from 2007 to 2011 assessed the prescribing practice of eye care practitioners in 39 countries. Soft spherical contact lenses (CL) were fitted three times more often than toric lenses. A wide variation in prescribing was reported between countries, with toric soft CLs accounting for only 6% of fits in Russia, compared with 48% in Portugal.1

More recently, a 2022 survey analysed the prescribing habits in 28 countries and reported that soft toric CL were prescribed in 28% of fits.2 Only one country, Israel, fits toric CLs greater than 40% of the time, which is the expected amount based on the prevalence of astigmatism at ≥0.75D.2 A lack of toric lens prescribing may be caused by multiple factors, including ethnic variations in prevalence of astigmatism.1

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