Astigmatism is a condition in which the cornea is curved more in one direction than the other causing the cornea to resemble an egg or football shape rather than being round like a basketball. Astigmatism causes blurred vision at all distances, as shown in this picture.
The eye functions by focusing images i.e. the stop sign on the left in the picture. There are two ocular structures that achieve this focusing, the cornea (or the clear window of the eye) and the natural lens (much like the lens in a camera).
Together they focus or compress the parallel light rays onto the retina (back structure of the eye, much like the film in a camera). The image is displayed on the retina and a photochemical reaction occurs. The image is then transmitted through the optic nerve to the brain where we actually see and interpret the image as clear or blurry.
With astigmatism, the cornea is curved and the image strikes either in front or behind the retinal at different perpendicular plains resulting in distortion of the vision. This is represented in the picture by the stop sign in the middle. Since it misses the retina, the image you see is blurred (the stop sign on the right).
Toric Intra-ocular Lens Implant Option to
Treat Astigmatism during Cataract Surgery
During your cataract surgery, Dr.Moretsky or Dr. Cassidy can correct your distance vision independence of glasses by using an advanced technology Toric intraocular lens.
The lens design, coupled with specialized implantation technique, recreates the same effect and benefits for distance vision that you would enjoy if you had your glasses on! You will notice improvement in your distance vision, because your cloudy cataract was removed and your astigmatism was corrected. Without the use of this type of implant, you would still have astigmatism in your eye, and glasses would still be necessary for distance, if a standard rather than a Toric intra-ocular lens were used. Over the counter(non-prescription) reading glasses are usually necessary for near.
How Does Cataract Surgery Work?
Step 1 – Your eye will be prepared with anesthetic prior to the procedure so you’ll feel little, if any, discomfort.
Step 2 – A tiny incision is made to allow a small instrument (about the size of a pen tip) to break up the cloudy cataract.
Step 3 – A standard or premium astigmatism correcting intraocular lens implant is inserted through same tiny incision.
Step 4 – A standard or premium astigmatism correcting intraocular lens implant is unfolded and set into its permanent position.
LASIK Eye Surgery for Astigmatism
Astigmatism can be corrected with LASIK surgery, as shown in this picture.
What laser vision correction does is correct the refractive error by changing the shape of the cornea to permit perfect image placement on the retina and compensate for the astigmatism.
Astigmatism Not Your Problem?
Check out these other eye problems:
or Learn More about the Steps Involved in LASIK for Astigmatism Surgery on our LASIK website