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Can You Fix Astigmatism With Cataract Surgery?

If you have cataracts, you may be considering when to get cataract surgery. If your cataracts are making it more difficult to see, it’s time for their removal.

There are a lot of reasons to get cataract surgery, but the main one is being able to see again. What you may not realize is cataract surgery does more than only remove cataracts.

Thanks to IOLs, cataract surgery could give you the best vision you’ve ever had! It can even correct your astigmatism.

Cataract Surgery

One of the benefits of cataract surgery is getting an intraocular lens (IOL). When you have cataract surgery, the clouded lens in your eye must be completely removed.

Since you need a lens to see, your surgeon will replace it with an artificial one. This IOL can correct your vision and help you see better up close or far away depending on what kind of IOL you get.

This can help people who are nearsighted or have trouble seeing up close. Cataract surgery helps those with astigmatism because of cataract removal and IOLs.

Limbal Relaxing Incisions

During cataract surgery, your surgeon makes incisions in your cornea that reshape it. It is by reshaping the cornea that astigmatism can be corrected.

These are called limbal relaxing incisions (LRI). LRI is a less invasive method than procedures like LASIK. They add little extra time to the procedure and recovery.

They may add extra costs to the procedure that insurance won’t cover. LRI incisions are not usually deemed a medical necessity. The extra cost can be worth the price of even better eyesight.

Toric IOLs

Another common and even better method when correcting astigmatism during cataract surgery is with an IOL. This IOL is designed to correct for astigmatism and is called a Toric IOL.

Toric IOLs are premium lenses and are not covered by insurance. The toric IOL is the only type of IOL designed for correcting astigmatism. It is available in multifocal and non-multifocal versions.

If a multifocal astigmatism lens is used then your vision can be corrected for astigmatism as well as for both far and near.

If a non-multifocal Toric IOL is used then your vision can be corrected for either distance OR near-focus vision without glasses.

For example with the latter type of lens, if the vision is corrected for distance with a non-multifocal Toric IOL then you would just need over the counter reading glasses to focus up close since the astigmatism is already corrected with the lens.

A toric IOL corrects against your irregular eye shape in the cornea where the astigmatism is most commonly present. It is designed with extra focusing power in a certain area of the IOL.

When the toric IOL gets inserted into the eye, the surgeon specifically aligns it within the eye. A properly adjusted toric IOL lines up with the most curved part of the eye.

This allows the patient to see through the lens in the most effective way to correct astigmatism.

In some cases, both a toric IOL and LRI can be used together to correct astigmatism. The patient can also have laser corrective surgery after healing from cataract surgery. Often a toric lens or LRI is all that’s needed.

Losing vision due to cataracts can be disturbing. Thanks to cataract surgery, vision loss from cataracts doesn’t have to be permanent and there is fantastic technology available to help you restore your sight!

To learn more about cataract surgery, contact Montgomery Eye Center in Naples, Florida for an appointment! Take the first step towards regaining your vision today!

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