Cataract surgery removes your cataracts. But did you know it can also give you the best eyesight you’ve ever had? It can help you reduce your reliance on glasses or get rid of them entirely!
Even patients with astigmatism can improve their eyesight. Keep reading to learn how you can correct your astigmatism during cataract surgery!
What are IOLs, and How Do They Work?
When you have cataracts, light can no longer pass through your natural lens. Intraocular lenses or IOLs replace your natural lens during cataract surgery.
The procedure begins with your surgeon making an opening in your cornea. Through this opening, they break your lens into small pieces.
Then they remove it using gentle suction. Once your natural lens is out, the IOL replaces it.
IOLs are not cookie-cutter designs. You have many options to choose from to get the best possible vision after your cataract surgery.
Monofocal IOLs are the most basic IOL option. They give you functional sight at one refractive distance. That’s better than being blind from cataracts, but they only focus at one distance.
Most people correct their distance vision with a monofocal IOL. If that is what you select, you will still need glasses for intermediate and far sight.
Medicare and insurance will cover the cost of cataract surgery with a monofocal IOL. Most plans will not cover the cost of a premium IOL.
Multifocal IOLs are a category of premium IOLs. You may have to pay out of pocket for them, but they provide enhanced vision.
Multifocal IOLs provide both near and far vision. They have specific refractive zones built-in for different seeing over different distances. That way, they can change focus like bifocal glasses depending on where you are looking.
Accommodating IOLs achieve a similar result as multifocal IOLs but through different means. These IOLs mimic the movement of your natural lens, which can flex and extend to change fields of focus.
This provides smoother and more natural transitions between depths of field. You may still need glasses for up-close vision with an accommodating IOL.
A trifocal IOL is like a multifocal IOL but with an added refractive zone built into the lens. Multifocal IOLs can correct far and up-close vision. But there tends to be a gap in your sight between these zones.
Trifocal IOLs have a third intermediate refractive zone. This middle zone eliminates the gap in vision and the visual disturbance it causes.
Trifocal IOLs give you an excellent chance of never needing glasses again. They can transition between all refractive distances without disturbances.
Astigmatism and Toric IOLs
Most premium IOLs correct nearsightedness or farsightedness but can’t correct astigmatism. That’s because astigmatism is different than myopia or hyperopia.
Nearsightedness and farsightedness occur when your eye focuses light in front of or behind your retina. This misplaced focus is due to a cornea that is too steep or flat.
With astigmatism, the light gets focused in multiple places. Scattering like this happens because a cornea with astigmatism has an uneven edge instead of a smooth one.
Toric model IOLs can correct astigmatism by accounting for the uneven corneal edge. If the IOL you choose for cataract surgery has a toric model, you can fix your astigmatism.
Toric IOLs get placed very carefully in the eye to balance out your astigmatism. Be sure to discuss correcting astigmatism during your cataract surgery consultation.
Are cataracts affecting your everyday life? Set up a cataract screening at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Garden City, NY, to learn more about your IOL options!