What is Astigmatism and How Can it be Fixed at the Time of Cataract Surgery?

Jan 01, 2023
What is Astigmatism and How Can it be Fixed at the Time of Cataract Surgery?
If you’re already getting cataract surgery, you may wonder if you can also get your astigmatism fixed during the surgery. Here’s how you may be able to give up wearing glasses or corrective lenses.

When preparing to undergo cataract surgery, your surgeon may have told you that you have astigmatism and may be wondering if your surgeon can fix it during your cataract surgery. The good news is that advanced laser cataract surgery can now correct astigmatism.

Read below to learn how Dr. Cory Bergman, MD, can fix your astigmatism during your cataract surgery in Casper, Wyoming, or Rapid City, South Dakota. 

What is astigmatism?

Caused by an abnormal curvature in the eye or lens, astigmatism prevents the eye from focusing on light coming from multiple directions. 

The abnormal curvature creates a football shape to the lens, affecting your distance and close vision, which can cause either double or blurred vision. 

There are two types of astigmatism, regular and irregular. Of the two, regular astigmatisms are more common. Regular astigmatism is from the primary meridians being 90 degrees apart, while a pathologic condition causes irregular astigmatism. 

Depending on the severity of your astigmatism, Dr. Bergman uses one of two corrective methods to fix your astigmatism. Both typically result in eliminating astigmatism after the surgery, reducing the need for post-operative glasses or contacts. 

Correcting astigmatism with limbal relaxing incisions

The first method for treating astigmatism during cataract surgery is Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI). LRI is typically only used to treat minor astigmatism. 

Performed at the beginning of the surgery, Dr. Bergman makes small incisions before implanting the intraocular lenses (IOL). 

During this process, arc-shaped incisions are made in the cornea’s periphery to help flatten its curvature and reshape it into a more spherical shape. 

Fixing severe astigmatism via toric IOLs

The second method for correcting astigmatism is a special IOL known as a Toric IOL. As well as fixing your astigmatism, Toric IOLs can also improve farsightedness and nearsightedness by using different powers in the lens meridians. 

Some additional benefits of having Toric IOLs implanted during laser cataract surgery are they can provide extra protection against UV rays and blue light and help improve your nighttime driving. 

They also provide increased sensitivity to contrast, improving the quality of images captured by the eye. 

The Toric IOL must be properly aligned during the surgery to provide the best improvement to your vision. During healing, it may rotate from its original position, which can lead to needing secondary surgery to reposition the IOL.

To learn more about fixing your astigmatism while undergoing cataract surgery, call your nearest office or schedule an appointment online