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Cataract Surgery & Astigmatism

November 6, 2017

Q: Can I have my astigmatism corrected when I undergo cataract surgery?

A: In the olden days of cataract surgery the main objective was to remove a patient’s cataract to give them cataract free vision. After their surgery, these patients had to wear thick glasses in order to see well. As cataract surgery progressed, intraocular lenses were invented which corrected the majority of a patient’s nearsightedness and farsightedness, however did not correct for astigmatism.  Patients with astigmatism still had to wear some form of correction, whether it be glasses or toric contact lenses.

The most recent inventions in cataract surgery have brought a wide range of options that can correct moderate to severe astigmatism.  For patients that have mild corneal astigmatism, your surgeon might elect to do an LRI, which stands for limbal relaxing incision.

For patients that have moderate to severe astigmatism, your surgeon might elect to use a toric intraocular lens. Toric lenses are specifically designed to correct astigmatism in patients undergoing cataract surgery, which can reduce or even eliminate your need for glasses in order to see well in the distance, however reading glasses are still required to see up close. In addition, OCLI now offers the Symfony Toric IOL, which may allow patients to reduce or eliminate their need for reading glasses or bifocals. In fact, most patients that receive an Symfony IOL or Symfony Toric IOL can do most things, most of the time without glasses.

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