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September 11, 2008

Treating Astigmatism & Cataracts

Another interesting article appears in this month's Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.  "Astigmatism management in cataract surgery with the Acrysof toric intra ocular lens" by Bauer, deVries, Wrebers, Hendrikse, and Nuijys presents clinical data on the Acrysof toric IOL. 


53 eyes of 43 cataract patients were treated with implantation of this toric IOL.  90% achieved uncorrected vision of 20/40 or better without glasses.  This is good enough to legally drive without glasses!  The conclusion of this study was that the AcrySof toric IOL was a safe, effective, and predictable method of treating astigmatism in the cataract patient.


Cataract surgery does not treat astigmatism.  In my practice, cataract patients have 3 choices:

  1. Receive a standard IOL and wear glasses following cataract surgery for both distance and reading.
  2. Receive a toric IOL at the time of cataract surgery to improve their pre-operative astigmatism.  These patients will still need to wear reading glasses after cataract surgery.

  3. Receive a multi-focal IOL, such as the AcrySof ReSTOR at the time of cataract surgery and than have their astigmatism treated with LASIK 1 month later.  These patients are generally able to wake up, see the alarm clock, watch TV, drive, and read without the need for glasses!


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