Patients with nearsightedness and farsightedness often also have astigmatism. As astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea that tends to be more oblong like a football instead of being round like a basketball. This difference in shape often causes blurry vision. Astigmatism management is a vital new area of cataract surgery. Your vision is potentially affected by two types of astigmatism: corneal and lenticular. Both can be corrected with new astigmatism management tools.
The most advanced method to correct pre-existing astigmatism during cataract surgery uses a new type of lens implant which incorporates unique optics to compensate for specific deficiencies in your vision. This lens greatly reduces the need for a second procedure after cataract surgery to correct residual astigmatism.
In addition to astigmatism-treating IOLs, astigmatism can be reduced by glasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery (Lasik or PRK). A limbal relaxing incision (LRI) is a small cut or incision your surgeon makes into your cornea to make its shape rounder and can be done at the same time as the cataract operation or as a separate procedure. Any attempt at astigmatism reduction could result in over- or under-correction, in which case glasses, contact lenses, or another procedure may be needed.
If you think you may have astigmatism or would like to know more about it, feel free to schedule an appointment with Ophthalmology Consultants in St. Louis, MO.