Astigmatism is a contributing factor that causes many to wear glasses. The reason being, a normal cornea is spherical or rounded, while a cornea with astigmatism is more of an oblong shape, like a football. When light rays pass through a normal shaped cornea, they bend toward the center and focus on one spot on the retina, allowing the eye to see clearly. When a cornea is oblong, because of astigmatism, the light rays focus on more than one spot and the vision becomes distorted.
Toric lens implants are designed for individuals with astigmatism who would like to reduce their dependence on glasses after cataract surgery. The unique design of the Acrysof® Toric lens provides significantly improved distance vision, while correcting astigmatism, which may reduce the need for glasses after surgery. Most patients can function well for distance activities without glasses after surgery. These lens implants do not improve near vision, so reading glasses are still needed after surgery.
The vast majority patients, once receiving the AcrySof® Toric IOL, only require reading glasses for detailed up-close work. A wonderful trade off compared to requiring reading glasses all of the time.
For patients with astigmatism in both eyes, a Toric intraocular lens implant provided spectacle free vision at distance for 97% of patients, compared to patients with astigmatism who received a standard lens, who were only spectacle free at distance for 50% of the time.
For small amounts of astigmatism, a toric lens may not be needed at all. In these cases, tiny incisions, called Limbal Relaxing Incisions, may be made in the cornea at the time of cataract surgery, to change the shape of the eye and reduce the astigmatism. Dr. Bello will advise you as to the best option at your exam.
Dr. Bello continues to be at the forefront of continuing advancements in lens implant technology, providing his patients a selection of lens options to improve their vision after cataract surgery. Please remember, although the cataract toric lens may improve distance vision, it does not enhance up close vision. Glasses will still be needed for up close tasks. In addition, glasses may still be needed for some distance functions as well.