Cataracts & Astigmatism

Cataract & AstigmatismWhat is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of your cornea (the clear, round dome covering the eye's iris and pupil) or in the shape of the eye's lens. Normally, the cornea and lens are curved equally in all directions, like a basketball. This enables the eye to focus light rays sharply onto the retina at the back of your eye. However, if one direction is curved more steeply than another, like a football, then the light is unable to focus sharply on the retina. This unequal blurring is called astigmatism and results in blurry vision.

What are my options for correcting astigmatism?
Most people cover up this problem with glasses or contacts. This recurring expense can provide good vision, but comes with the inconvenience of poor vision when not worn. Laser Vision Correction is an excellent option, but is not for everyone. Astigmatism can also be corrected by implantation of a Toric IOL. This option provides long term stability and high quality vision.

What is a Toric IOL?
A toric lens in a foldable intraocular lens that our eye surgeons implant during surgery to replace the natural lens of your eye. They provide excellent distance vision, independent of glasses or contact lenses for most people.

Are all Toric lenses the same?
No, our surgeons use both the Acrysof Toric lens from Alcon and the Tecnis Toric lens from Abbott. We have great success with both and customize each patient’s lens choice.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Doesn’t cataract surgery correct astigmatism?  No, not unless you get a Toric intraocular lens. Patients with astigmatism who get a standard, monofocal lens will require bifocals for their best vision.
  2. What about all those people I know who got the standard lens and see clearly at distance with glasses free? They did not have visually significant astigmatism. Thus, they do not need a Toric lens. It is important to understand that every eye is different from person to person and sometimes your left eye’s measurements are different from your right eye’s measurements. Not everyone has astigmatism.
  3. Can I get the Toric lens if I do not have a cataract? Yes, this is called a Refractive Lens Exchange or a PreLex. The benefits of this procedure are the excellent distance vision without astigmatism and the fact that you will never develop cataracts.
  4. Do patients need glasses at all after a Toric lens? Yes, all patients require reading glasses after the procedure. Most are able to get an inexpensive pair from a local drug store to easily meet their needs.
  5. What do patients say are the best benefits of Tecnis Toric IOL?
  • A combined procedure to correct both a cataract and astigmatism at the same time
  • Sharp, crisp distance vision by day and by night
  • Glasses not fogging up when drinking my morning coffee
  • Getting the glasses restriction off of my driver’s license
  • Exercising glasses free
  • Not worrying about losing my glasses

Our doctor will recommend the option that is best for you. Contact us for more information about our life-changing services. To schedule an appointment, you may call 8​03-256-0641.

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