Astigmatism-correcting (Toric) IOL – Austin Eye

THE ASTIGMATISM-CORRECTING LENS (IOL): WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BASIC IOL AND AN ASTIGMATISM-CORRECTING IOL?

Basic and premium lenses do not correct the condition known as astigmatism. Astigmatism is the condition caused by an oval or football-shaped cornea. The cornea is the front window of the eye. If the cornea is round, then it is known as a spherical cornea. Spherical corneas focus images to a single clear point of focus. Corneas with astigmatism are oval or football-shaped and mis-focus images by creating a double image (see figure below). All standard and premium lens implants as of 2012 do not correct astigmatism. However the astigmatism-correcting lens implant DOES correct for or compensate for the astigmatism of the cornea.

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The typical Austin Toric IOL patient wants to have sharp, clear vision far away without depending on glasses or contacts. As of 2012, the Astigmatism-correcting lens does not provide for an adjustable focus from near to far. The Astigmatism-correcting lens is a fixed-focus lens like a basic IOL, but it provides sharper unaided vision far away for those individuals with pre-existing astigmatism before cataract surgery.

HOW DOES THE ASTIGMATISM-CORRECTING IOL WORK?

The Astigmatism-correcting IOL is designed to correct for the natural existing astigmatism in the cornea. It is similar to the function of an astigmatism-correcting toric contact lens in that the astigmatism-correcting IOL neutralizes or compensates for the astigmatism in the cornea. So when you see through the astigmatism-correcting lens, your focus is sharp and clear without glasses for driving, watching TV or seeing objects far away. Individuals with the astigmatism-correcting IOL will need bifocal or reading glasses to see up-close (e.g., computer or reading vision).

HOW WELL DOES THE ASTIGMATISM-CORRECTING IOL WORK?

Approximately 95% of individuals with this lens see sharp and clear without glasses for driving or watching TV. On the other hand, individuals with a basic IOL who have pre-existing astigmatism will have about a 25% chance of seeing sharp and clear without glasses for driving or watching TV. Specifically, the basic IOL patients see great with bifocals or glasses for far away vision. But without their glasses, vision far away will be blurred by any residual astigmatism. On the other hand, individuals with the astigmatism-correcting IOL are much less dependent on glasses for their far away vision because the lens implant corrects the natural astigmatism for that individual.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF LENS REPLACEMENT SURGERY WITH THE ASTIGMATISM-CORRECTING IOL?

Lens replacement surgery is identical to cataract surgery and results in safe and successful outcomes in approximately 98% of eyes treated. Like any surgical procedure, there are risks. During your visit with acclaimed cataract surgery Austin providers Dr. Mitchel Wong, Dr. Shannon Wong or Dr. John Odette, the risks, benefits and surgical alternatives will be discussed with you. Fortunately, cataract surgery is one of the most common and safest surgical procedures performed in the US today, with more than 3 million procedures performed annually. And with the addition of the LenSx laser, the skilled physicians at Austin Eye are now able to offer bladeless cataract surgery.

For more information about Surgical Vision Correction with the Toric IOL, schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Mitchel Wong, Dr. Shannon Wong or Dr. John Odette.