Intraocular lenses are used during cataract surgery to replace the damaged lens of the eye with an implant that clears up and corrects vision, oftentimes leaving patients with little to no dependence on glasses.
Up until now, patients with astigmatism did not have the same opportunities that other cataract patients have had in correcting their condition with the types of IOL lenses that were available. Typically, the astigmatic patient would need an additional surgical procedure, such as refractive surgery or LASIK, to correct their vision after the procedure. If the patient did not want to undergo another surgical procedure, the only option for correction would be the use of either contact lenses or glasses to address their astigmatism.
Toric IOLs are able to accommodate for the condition of astigmatism. Toric IOLs are specially designed to correct astigmatism along with overall vision during cataract surgery, offering complete vision correction.
The advanced Toric IOLs correct the imbalance caused by an irregular cornea shape in patients with astigmatism. There are several different types of FDA approved Toric IOLs which can correct up to 3 diopters of astigmatism.
The Toric IOL Procedure
The cataract-impaired lens of the eye is gently removed through a tiny incision that is made on the edge of the cornea. The lens is then removed and replaced with the Toric IOL. The procedure takes from 15 to 45 minutes to complete.
Following the procedure, patients will be able to return home after about an hour of observation. A follow-up appointment is usually scheduled for the day after the surgery to monitor the patient's recovery. Recovery from the surgery is usually short, and most patients are able to return to their normal activities almost immediately.
There may be some itching, discomfort and sensitivity to light after surgery, which can be managed through eye drops that have been prescribed by your doctor. These symptoms usually go away within a few days as the eye heals and patients can begin to enjoy the many benefits of their new lens.
Risks And Complications Of A Toric IOL
As with any surgery, Toric lens surgery has potential complications. The most common side effects of all cataract procedures include:
- A sensitivity to light
These risks, however, are rare and are often outweighed by the potential benefits of restoring vision.
Complications specific to Toric IOL may include:
- The lens rotating out of position
- Loss of sharpness of vision
Toric IOLs are considered safe for most patients with astigmatism and are the only solution to correct vision problems associated with both cataracts and astigmatism.