What is Astigmatism and how can cataract surgery correct it?
Astigmatism relates to the curvature of your cornea, the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil. Instead of being round and smooth like a basketball, a cornea with astigmatism is more like a football, which is not equally curved in all directions. As a result, your vision for both near and distance objects appear blurry or distorted without correction with glasses or contact lenses.
Ophthalmologists have two ways to correct the corneal astigmatism during cataract surgery in an attempt to minimize your need for correction with glasses or contact lenses after surgery. At the time of cataract surgery, an intraocular lens is placed in the eye. There is a special implant available that has the astigmatism correction built into the implant. The lens will be specially selected for your eye for the degree of astigmatism. It will allow you to have reduced need for correction at one distance after surgery.
Another way to correct astigmatism during cataract surgery is with incisions that are made into the cornea which are placed at the exact location of the astigmatism. Previously, these could only be done manually with a blade. Now, they can be done more accurately with laser-assisted cataract surgery. A special laser is used to make these incisions as well as opening the front of the cataract and softening it prior to its removal. Your physician at the Columbia Eye Clinic can discuss with you the best option for your eye.