Toric Intraocular Lenses

Toric Intraocular Lenses

Toric intraocular lenses are Dr. William Goldstein’s preferred method of correcting astigmatism. As one of the first in Michigan to employ the Staar Toric IOL, Dr. Goldstein has extensive experience in this area.

What is astigmatism?

The normal eye is shaped like a basketball; the cornea is the same shape or curve in all directions. This creates one point of focus inside the eye, allowing for sharp vision without glasses. If correction is needed, it is the same in every axis. This is known as ‘spherical correction’.

Patients with astigmatism do not have this simple advantage. Their eye is shaped more like a football. The cornea has one steep curvature, and one that is less steep. This causes two points of focus inside the eye. This means that there is no object that is completely in focus at any time. Glasses and contact lenses have to be made to correct both points of focus. This type of correction is known as ‘astigmatic correction’. This problem becomes very important when cataract surgery is considered. The astigmatism must be corrected for the patient to increase their independence from glasses.

How can astigmatism be treated?

When a surgeon is trying to treat astigmatism to provide better unaided vision, there are several ways to accomplish this.

  • Implant a ‘standard lens implant‘ that does not correct the astigmatism. Patients will be required to wear glasses or contact lenses for good vision.
  • Perform surgery to correct astigmatism by making incisions in the cornea to flatten it. This is called limbal relaxing incisions, and can be performed either during or after cataract surgery.
  • Implant a ‘toric lens implant’ at the time of surgery. These implants can be inserted in the same manner as a standard lens, but have special correction built in, just like glasses and contact lenses.

What types of Toric Intraocular Lenses are available?

Several types of lenses are available to correct astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery, or ReLEx surgery. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. The newest addition is the Trulign implant, made by Bausch and Lomb. This lens is created on the platform of the Crystalens® implant, and so it can correct astigmatism and allow a fuller range of focus at the same time. This implant may even provide less need for reading glasses. Toric Intraocular Lenses are not covered by insurance, and patients must pay out-of-pocket over and above insurance charges.