If you have significant astigmatism and cataracts, you have the option to reduce or eliminate your astigmatism during your cataract surgery. Toric lens implants are designed to correct a patient’s astigmatism to improve their distance vision without glasses, but typically patients will still need reading glasses to see clearly up close.
Astigmatism is not an eye disease, but is a common issue related to an individual eye’s shape. Just as some eyes are longer (resulting in nearsightedness) and some eyes are shorter (resulting in farsightedness), some eyes have more astigmatism than others.
Eyes with astigmatism are not uniformly round, like a bowling ball. Astigmatic eyes are shaped more like a football creating distorted images, as light rays are unable to focus at a single point. Astigmatism causes vision to be blurred or distorted at all distances.
Astigmatism can be treated with glasses and contact lenses. In select patients, astigmatism can be corrected surgically with LASIK, laser relaxing incisions or a toric lens implant.