Correcting Astigmatism During Cataract Surgery

Astigmatism is a refractive defect that occurs when the eye is not fully spherical. Light should bend smoothly and generate a clear image as it enters the eye. Because the eye shape is more oblong than spherical in those with astigmatism, light is refracted in one direction more than the other. Everyone has some degree of astigmatism, but some people have severe astigmatism, which can often be repaired with cataract surgery.

Can Cataract Surgery Fix Astigmatism?

Astigmatism can be corrected in a variety of ways with cataract surgery. The most typical solution is to replace the clouded lens with a toric IOL, which is a high-end intraocular lens.

A toric intraocular lens is a high-end IOL that works similarly to toric contact lenses for astigmatism correction. Toric IOLs correct astigmatism by altering the way light is refracted through the lens. However, because the toric IOL is safely implanted inside the eye, it provides a more stable correction than a toric contact lens, which slides on the eye’s surface when you blink. Toric IOLs, like toric contact lenses, come in a variety of powers to correct the eye’s asymmetry.

Limbal relaxing incisions are another approach to correct astigmatism during cataract surgery (LRI). One or more arc-shaped incisions are made near the cornea’s periphery in this operation. Astigmatism is eliminated by gradually reshaping the cornea into a more spherical form.

Correcting Astigmatism During Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a highly effective treatment. It’s difficult to build on that achievement. One method is to reduce residual refractive error, particularly astigmatism. Toric IOLs produce excellent results, often better than corneal relaxing incisions made with or without a laser. Keratotomy does, however, have a place for low cylinder powers and postoperative upgrades. Despite lower Medicare reimbursement rates for cataract surgery, physicians are seeing an increasing number of cataract patients. Around 40% of them have clinically significant, regular astigmatism of 0.75 D or higher and could benefit from and pay for surgical correction out of pocket.

Should Astigmatism Be Corrected During Cataract Surgery?

Astigmatism should be corrected here are a few reasons why:

  • After cataract surgery, most patients’ refractive astigmatism rises. This is because, in most eyes, preoperative corneal astigmatism is larger than apparent astigmatism.
  • Residual astigmatism is especially irritating while wearing a multifocal lens. Unless other comorbidities impair contrast, multifocal lenses reduce contrast to a degree that does not concern the vast majority of people.
  • Years after cataract surgery, the development of the future disease can deteriorate vision, so correcting astigmatism now only improves the patient’s long-term outlook.
  • The operation is well-liked by patients, and it works.

How Much Astigmatism Can Be Corrected With Cataract Surgery?

A toric intraocular lens implant can correct astigmatism between 1-4 diopters. Multiple approaches are used to correctly quantify the degree and axis of astigmatism before surgery. In addition to evaluating the prescription for glasses or contact lenses, the curvature of the anterior cornea (which accounts for 80% of astigmatism) is evaluated with different tools to ensure uniformity. Some equipment can even detect the small amount of astigmatism caused by the cornea’s rear surface (about 0.5 diopters).

The power and axis of the toric implant required to correct astigmatism are chosen using a computer programme that also takes into account a minor degree of astigmatism caused by the cataract surgery incision.

Does Astigmatism Get Worse After Cataract Surgery?

Both cataracts and astigmatism can be treated at the same time using a corneal relaxing incision and/or the use of a toric lens. Astigmatism is a common imperfection in the human eye. Astigmatism is caused by a curvature in the cornea of the eye, resulting in distorted images or impaired vision in both near and far distances. According to new research, astigmatism that is not addressed at the time of cataract surgery tends to deteriorate after the procedure. While the cataract will enhance your eyesight by removing the hazy lens, you may experience blurred vision as your astigmatism worsens.

What Happens To Astigmatism After Cataract Surgery?

Astigmatism can be corrected or it gets reduced after cataract surgery. Astigmatism affects blurry vision in close and long distances, although it can be readily remedied with glasses or contact lenses. When a patient has cataract surgery without astigmatism, the conventional implant lenses provide good distant vision. If a standard lens is used, patients with astigmatism will still need glasses for far and near after cataract surgery since standard lenses do not correct astigmatism. 


The approach for removing cataracts and correcting astigmatism varies from patient to patient, but it is usually a simple surgery that can even eliminate the need for spectacles. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes less than 20 minutes, plus a few minutes for astigmatism correction. You will spend the remainder of the day at home after spending roughly two hours in the surgical facility.

Although recovery from surgery is very swift, patients are advised to wait about a week before returning to routine activities. A follow-up consultation is required a few weeks following surgery to evaluate the new eyeglass prescription, if necessary.

If you are looking for the best eye specialist, visit Dada Laser Eye Institute, which was founded to offer the best eye care services to people from all over India. Our doctors are well qualified and have years of experience, so schedule your Cataract procedure with us. With DLEI, you’ll be in the best hands.

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