Ask Dr. Wellish, the Las Vegas Cataracts Surgeon

Q: I know I need cataract surgery but I have astigmatism in both eyes. Does this mean that I can’t have the procedure?

A: Great question, but with modern technology, this problem is a non-issue! Cataract surgery has advanced in a way that several options are now available for correcting your astigmatisms during the surgery. For those unfamiliar with what an astigmatism is, it’s a condition that affects the corneas and is actually very common, being found in one in three people. Whereas a normal cornea shape is round, much like a baseball, a cornea affected by astigmatism takes on more of an odd shape like a football. Oddly shaped corneas brings in light unequally which leads to vision distortion.

One way to correct astigmatism during cataract surgery is the use of Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI). Through this procedure, a series of small incisions placed at exact positions on the eye can alter the shape of the eye’s cornea. This reduces astigmatic error and improves vision.

A second option is through choosing a premium lens known as a Toric lens for the lens replacement portion of the procedure. This lens is implanted in the exact same way as the standard monofocal IOL, but it has a special shape that can be customized to correct astigmatisms of varying degrees.