Why aren't my contacts available for daily wear?
January 18, 2017 1:31 PM   Subscribe

I wear contact lenses only occasionally, so I wanted to switch from monthlies to dailies. But it turns out they don't make a daily lens with my prescription (for astigmatism). Is there some specific reason they do not do this -- I was told they only do a 180 +/- 20, and my astigmatism is 30. But why do they stop at 20?
posted by jeather to Science & Nature (8 answers total)
My guess is that they need thicker, better quality lenses to get the greater curvature of the higher astigmatism and they can't do that affordably in a lens priced for daily wear.
posted by metahawk at 1:51 PM on January 18, 2017

FYI I treat the lifetime as time worn and keep one set of lenses around (mostly unworn) for much longer than the recommended lifetime.
posted by katrielalex at 1:53 PM on January 18, 2017

The axis number is just how much it needs to be rotated, not how strong an astigmatism I have (it is quite mild). If I had the same prescription but an axis of 20 instead of 30 I could get daily wear lenses.

Assume that I would like (but am resigned to not getting) daily wear lenses for good reasons.
posted by jeather at 2:25 PM on January 18, 2017

Last I checked, the cost of dailies-qua-dailies and equivalent-extended-wear-used-as-dailies worked out to be about the same. So that might be an option for you.

The statement about availability also seems odd to me and I think you should confirm it by looking at, e.g., the options listed as available at 1-800-CONTACTS. Did you check all brands available? There aren't that many toric dailies available, but the optometrists sure do push their preferred brands.
posted by praemunire at 3:32 PM on January 18, 2017

I'm in the same situation as you and just wear non-astigmatism-correcting lenses (with the blessing of my optician). I don't even notice the difference (between lenses & glasses. I might notice it between dailies & monthlies that DO correct astigmatism).
posted by ClarissaWAM at 3:38 PM on January 18, 2017

Yes, I have looked at various lenses. This is not a money issue or a question of what my choices are for other contact lenses. This is a question about why there is this gap in the market for toric lenses with an axis more than 20 degrees off 180, because I do not know enough about how contact lenses are made and what toric lenses need to understand.

If you can specifically answer my question about why contact lens companies do not make all axes for toric lenses, I would love to know. Please stop answering the questions I did not ask.
posted by jeather at 5:31 PM on January 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

Against my better judgment, now that I'm home to check, I'm going to point out that clariti 1-day torics list availability for axes of, depending on product, 10°, 20°, 60°, 70°, 80°, 90°, 100°, 110°, 120°, 160°, 170°, 180° (or fewer) and FOCUS daily torics list availability for 20, 70, 90, 110, 160, and 180. So actually this "gap in the market for toric lenses with an axis more than 20 degrees off 180" does not exist; one cannot answer the question of "why do they stop at 20," because they don't. It seems to be a specific issue with an axis of 30, or perhaps the 30-60 range.
posted by praemunire at 6:50 PM on January 18, 2017

Additionally, bausch and lomb SofLens daily disposable toric lenses claim to have available: "Axis: 0° to 180° in 10° Increments."
posted by praemunire at 7:03 PM on January 18, 2017

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