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OCLI Answers your Questions: Astigmatism

May 23, 2017

Q: I know I need cataract surgery but I have astigmatism (a·stig·ma·tism) in both eyes. Does this mean that I’m not a candidate for the procedure?

A: This is a great question, but with modern technology, this problem is a non-issue! Cataract surgery has advanced in a way that several options are now available for correcting your astigmatisms during the surgery. For those unfamiliar with astigmatism, it’s a condition that affects the corneas. Whereas a normal cornea shape is round, much like a baseball, a cornea affected by astigmatism takes on more of an odd shape like a football. Oddly shaped corneas bring in light unequally, which leads to vision distortion. Astigmatism is actually very common, and is found in one in three people.

One way to correct astigmatism during cataract surgery is the use of Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI). Through this procedure, a series of small incisions placed at exact positions on the eye can alter the shape of the eye’s cornea. This reduces astigmatic error and improves vision.

A second option is through choosing a premium lens known as a Toric lens for the lens replacement portion of the procedure. This lens is implanted in the exact same way as the standard monofocal IOL, but it has a special shape that can be customized to correct astigmatisms of varying degrees.

Schedule a cataract exam today at one of our 13 locations in Long Island and find out which cataract surgery option may be the best for you.

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We are here for our patients and the community during this difficult time and are committed to providing eye care for those who need it in a safe and clean environment - although have temporarily closed the majority of our eye clinics in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.