Objectives: To characterize toric contact lens prescribing worldwide.
Methods: Up to 1,000 survey forms were sent to contact lens fitters in up to 39 countries between January and March every year for 5 consecutive years (2007–2011). Practitioners were asked to record data relating to the first 10 contact lens fits or refits performed after receiving the survey form. Only data for toric and spherical soft lens fits were analyzed. Survey data collected since 1996 were also analyzed for 7 nations to assess toric lens fitting trends since that time.
Results: Data were collected in relation to 21,150 toric fits (25%) and 62,150 spherical fits (75%). Toric prescribing ranged from 6% of lenses in Russia to 48% in Portugal. Compared with spherical fittings, toric fittings can be characterized as follows: older age (29.8 ± 11.4 years vs. 27.6 ± 10.8 years for spherical lenses); men are overrepresented (38% vs. 34%); greater proportion of new fits (39% vs. 32%); use of silicone hydrogel lenses (49% vs. 39%); and lower proportion of daily disposable lenses (14% vs. 28%). There has been a continuous increase in toric lens prescribing between 1996 and 2011. The proportion of toric lens fits was positively related to the gross domestic product at purchasing power parity per capita for year 2011 (r2 = 0.21; P=0.004).
Conclusions: At the present time, in the majority of countries surveyed, toric soft contact lens prescribing falls short of that required to correct clinically significant astigmatism (≥0.75 diopters) in all lens wearers.