Published on January 23, 2022

Cataract Surgery and Astigmatism

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There are several ways to correct astigmatism in the setting of cataract surgery. Our team of highly skilled eye doctors and surgeons are ready to create a personalized treatment plan for you to restore your vision and your quality of life.

What is Cataract Surgery?

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye that happens to all of us as we age. Cataracts can be caused by overexposure to sunlight, medications, smoking, or they can be present at birth and carried with you through your life.

As a cataract becomes worse, patients experience glare with oncoming headlights while driving at night, glare with sunlight, and blurred vision. When a cataract is severe enough to negatively impact your life, it’s recommended to remove it. SightMD cataract experts use the latest techniques and technologies that take only a few minutes without the use of needles, stitches, or even an eye patch following surgery.

After the cataract or cloudy lens is removed, it’s replaced with a new synthetic lens implant to restore vision. There are several options of lenses to choose from, each providing different benefits. Your doctor will recommend the lens that gives you the best possible outcome

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a condition where your cornea is oblong, like a football, rather than round and circular. This warped shape distorts and blurs your vision. Astigmatism is incredibly common for people who have trouble seeing near or far, but is easily corrected by glasses or contact lenses.

Surgical Options for Astigmatism and Cataracts

There are three common options to reduce or eliminate astigmatism in cataract surgery, leaving a patient with clearer vision without glasses or contact lenses. When we correct astigmatism in the setting of cataract surgery, patients are generally ecstatic with the improvement in vision.

Limbal Relaxing Incisions

With the help of state-of-the-art computers, our cataract experts can create precise incisions in the cornea that reduce or eliminate astigmatism. This is all done during cataract surgery, so there’s no need to make a separate appointment or make another trip to the office. Limbal relaxing incisions work very well, but are typically only recommended for patients with moderate astigmatism.

TORIC® Intraocular Implant

When a patient without astigmatism has cataract surgery, the standard implant lenses result in excellent distance vision. If that same standard lens is used for a patient with astigmatism they’ll still need glasses for far and near after surgery. The cataract will be gone, but the astigmatism is still there to blur your vision.

For patients with higher amounts of astigmatism, a TORIC® Intraocular Lens can precisely and significantly reduce astigmatism. These specialty lens implants correct astigmatism at the lens plane: like a permanent contact lens. This implant is considered a premium lens and typically needs to be paid for out of pocket, but patients tend to be highly satisfied with the results. We also offer zero percent financing for two years to make payment less of a burden.

LASIK

At times, a limbal relaxing incision or a TORIC® implant can leave a small amount of residual astigmatism, but this can be fixed with laser vision correction or LASIK. If you opt for a standard lens for your cataract surgery but decide later on that you want to eliminate your astigmatism, LASIK is a safe, precise and effective method to finish the job and restore your vision.

If you have cataracts and astigmatism, there is an answer for you. Our surgeons are experienced in all types of specialty and premium cataract surgery, and can work with you to find the solution that best fits your needs.