Can Cataract Surgery Correct Astigmatism?

If you’re planning on having cataract surgery, make sure you understand your options to remove your cataract and correct your astigmatism. A cataract is a clouding of the lens that affects your vision. As we age, proteins begin to clump together inside the eye’s natural lens, causing it to become cloudy and discolored. A cataract is a very common vision disorder and is a normal part of the aging process.

In a healthy human eye, the cornea is round shape like a basketball. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped more like a football. When light passes through a cornea with astigmatism, the image does not focus sharply on the retina, causing blurred vision.

While standard intraocular lens (IOL) can improve vision by replacing the eye’s clouded natural lens, glasses or contacts will still be needed to correct the astigmatism. That is why your surgeon may recommend a toric intraocular lens to have less dependence on glasses or contacts.

Cataract surgery is usually an outpatient procedure. Prior to your surgery, measurements are taken to enable cataract surgeons to choose the most beneficial toric IOL power and the required orientation of the implant in the eye to correct the astigmatism successfully.

Toric IOLs are an advanced type of artificial lens used in cataract surgery that can correct for astigmatism (blurry vision) at the same time as they replace a natural cornea that has become clouded by a cataract. Toric IOL pose no additional risk and are perfectly safe. They do not require the cataract surgery to be performed any differently and do not effectively lengthen the cataract surgical time.

Though cataract surgery usually is covered by Medicare and other medical insurance plans, the added costs associated with advanced lens implants such as toric IOLs are an out-of-pocket expense. Choosing to have cataract surgery today has many options and it is important to carefully discuss all the above with your ophthalmologist prior to making such an important decision.

For more information on cataracts and astigmatism visit or 843-449-6414.