Cataract surgery is one of the most successful procedures. It has become so precise over the years that it is now being used as a method to permanently correct vision. People with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or presbyopia (the need to wear reading glasses) can have this procedure as an alternative to laser vision correction – even if they don’t have cataracts! There is one other visual condition that patients often believe cannot be treated with cataract surgery, called astigmatism. What is this condition and can it be corrected? Astigmatism means that the front window of the eye – called the cornea – is not perfectly round, and instead has somewhat of a “football” shape. This oblong shape causes distortion, leading to blurred vision. Oftentimes, patients are told that if they have astigmatism they are not candidates for implants that correct presbyopia. This is actually untrue; there are several ways to correct astigmatism both at the time of cataract surgery and afterwards. In fact, laser-assisted cataract surgery and toric (astigmatism-correcting) intraocular lens implants (IOLs) allow us to precisely treat all refractive errors so that you may never need to wear a pair of glasses again!
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