• Cataract Surgery and Astigmatism Correction


    What percent of people are happy with the results when they have astigmatism fixed at the time of cataract surgery? Do a percentage of these people still need to have corrective lens put in their glasses?


    Correcting astigmatism (misshapen cornea) during cataract surgery is highly successful. If this is done with a toric intraocular lens, the benefit is usually to give you better uncorrected vision at distance. If both eyes are corrected this way then there is nearly a 100 per cent chance one would need reading glasses.

    The only way to be independent of corrective lenses after cataract surgery and the correction of astigmatism is to do toric intraocular lenses in both eyes and make one eye set for reading and the other eye set for distance. This is called monovision. The best results from monovision usually occur when one eye is set for distance vision and the other eye for intermediate. In this case, reading glasses for small print are often required.

    Another way to reduce or eliminate the need for corrective lenses after cataract surgery is to use a multifocal lens in both eyes. Since multifocal lenses do not correct astigmatism, the astigmatism will need to be corrected with either cuts in the cornea at the time of cataract surgery (limbal relaxing incisions) or correction of the astigmatism some weeks or months after cataract surgery with an excimer laser. Finally there is an accommodating intraocular lens that can correct astigmatism as well but in my experience these patients will often need reading glasses for small print.

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