Published on January 25, 2022

Choose a Toric Lens Implant to Eliminate Astigmatism and Get Rid of Glasses after Cataract Surgery

Man can see his daughter clearly without glasses

Are you planning to have cataract surgery but you have astigmatism? The lens your surgeon implants to correct your cataracts, called an intraocular lens, can also help fix astigmatism. Make sure to choose a toric lens implant and see clearly without glasses.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is when the shape of the eye is not spherical like a basketball, but oblong like a football. It distorts vision unless corrected by glasses or toric contact lenses. A toric intraocular lens is implanted once the cataract has been removed and will correct astigmatism in addition to any pre-existing near or farsightedness. A standard implant is that a standard implant will only correct near or farsightedness.

Astigmatism is measured by magnitude (measured in diopters) and axis (measured in degrees) which determines the direction of the eye’s distortion. Astigmatism between 1-4 diopters can be corrected using a toric intraocular lens implant. If there is a significant amount (>1 diopter) of residual astigmatism after cataract surgery, glasses will still be required to get the best vision.

Preparing for Surgery

Before surgery, your doctor will check your glasses or contact lens prescription and the curvature of your cornea to determine the severity of your astigmatism. The power and axis of the toric implant required to correct astigmatism is selected with the help of a computer program that will also factor in a small amount of astigmatism that’s created by the incision for the cataract surgery.

Unlike standard cataract surgery, the position of the eye will be marked with your head in an upright position. Sometimes the eye rotates when lying down, so marking the eye will allow us to take this rotation into account. The final axis of your astigmatism is then marked on the eye just before cataract surgery.

A special instrument on the microscope takes precise measurements throughout the surgery to allow for any fine tune adjustments. This helps minimize any residual astigmatism and reduces the need for glasses after surgery.

There are no downsides to these toric lenses as they do not increase glare, decrease the quality of vision, or increase the risk of cataract surgery. Unlike contact lenses, it cannot be felt and causes no irritation as these implants are internal.

A new technology will soon become available to make marking the eye obsolete. Instead of marking the axis on the eye, the axis of the lens implant as measured in the clinic is projected on the eyepiece of the surgeon’s microsope. Through this heads-up-display, the surgeon sees where he needs to make his incisions and the correct axis for the toric lens in order to optimize astigmatism correction. The image even locks on and follows the blood vessels so the marks will follow the eye if it moves. These amazing technologies all help to improve the precision and accuracy of toric lens implants to correct astigmatism during cataract surgery.

Why Choose SightMD

At SightMD, we guarantee our results for life. Our state-of-the-art preoperative instruments accurately predict the correct lens power, magnitude and axis of astigmatism leaving you with clear vision.

In addition, most of our cataract surgeons are also seasoned LASIK and PRK surgeons. If there is any residual astigmatism affecting vision even after cataract surgery, enhancement LASIK or PRK is always available at no additional charge.

If you have cataracts and astigmatism, don’t settle for the standard lens. Choose a toric lens at SightMD and get rid of your glasses for good.