Fixing Your Astigmatism and Your Cataracts

AstigmatismMost of us have some degree of astigmatism. Astigmatism is the case where our eyeballs are more oval shaped than round. This creates focusing problems at certain distances.

And most of us will develop cataracts at some point after the age of 50. Cataracts are caused by a buildup of proteins in the lens of the eye, creating clouding that gets progressively worse. If left untreated, cataracts can cause blindness in an eye, but that’s silly because the surgery with the team at Central Valley Eye Medical Group is so successful and so easy.

Lens Replacements Improve

As replacement lenses (called intraocular lenses or IOLs) for cataracts have advanced technologically, patients have more and more options. First, simple monofocal lenses, where patients would pick the focal range they wanted — either near or far — and correct the other range with glasses, were the only choice.

In 2005, the first multifocal IOLs came to market. This type of IOL provides correction for both near and distance vision, much like your eyes normally would Both near and far objects can be in focus at the same time, so there is an adjustment period, but your brain learns to select the visual information it needs to form an image of either near or distant objects. Newer multifocal lenses also correct for presbyopia, the condition that hits most people after age 40, where their near and intermediate vision usually needs correction with reading glasses.

IOLs and astigmatism

But in 2006, “toric” lenses were introduced. Toric IOLs have different powers in different meridians of the lens to correct the asymmetric power of the eye, the tenets of astigmatism. As with toric soft contact lenses for astigmatism, where each lens has a mark that shows where the orientation of the lens needs to be placed onto the eyeball, toric IOLs have special markers on the peripheral parts of the lens that show your Central Valley surgeon the orientation of the astigmatism correction in the lens. Once the IOL is implanted in the eye, the surgeon rotates the lens to align the lens to match astigmatism.

Toric IOLs are available in both monofocal and multifocal options. Most patients would opt for multifocal unless they have the need for excellent distance vision (occupations such as airline pilots). Toric multifocal IOLs usually will eliminate the need for reading glasses.

Do you have the telltale clouding of cataracts? It may be time to consider cataract surgery at Central Valley Eye Medical Group. Call us at (800) 244-9907 to schedule your appointment.

Posted in: Astigmatism


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