During a cataract evaluation, Dr. Golen, or another eye surgeon, may mention a toric lens for astigmatism correction. A toric lens is a term that is commonly used by eye surgeons, but not every patient understands what this means.
Simply stated: a toric lens is a lens that corrects astigmatism.
Most eyes have some degree of astigmatism. Some more than others. Astigmatism is often corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
At the time of cataract surgery, the cataract is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. The basic lens that is paid for by insurance or Medicare DOES NOT correct astigmatism. Thus, if you elect the basic lens option for cataract surgery, you may have a lot of RESIDUAL ASTIGMATISM. This can detract from your vision goals and make you much more reliant upon glasses or contact lenses.
While it is impossible to eliminate all of the eye's astigmatism, by utilizing a toric intraocular lens implant, your eye surgeon can greatly decrease the amount of astigmatism, leading to much better vision without glasses.
Lens implant options that come in a toric lens include the regular toric lens (monofocal), as well as a multifocal toric lens to allow for more intermediate and near vision. At Central Florida Ophthalmology, we offer the latest Alcon multifocal lenses to include the Panoptix and Vivity, and both lenses come in a toric variety as well, which the surgeon can utilize if the patient has significant astigmatism.
All toric lenses lenses have an "axis marking" on the lens, to allow the surgeon to line up the toric lens to the correct meridian (or axis) on the eye. On the Alcon platform lenses, this marking is in the form of three tiny dots (see above image of the Alcon toric lens).
Prior to surgery, your eye surgeon will get measurements to determine whether or not you are a candidate for a toric lens. This will primarily depend on the astigmatism in the cornea (front clear part of the eye), since the astigmatism in the cataract is being neutralized by the surgery. For this reason, the astigmatism measurement for cataract surgery may be different than what you have in your glasses. However, the glasses prescription remains a decent clue, and if you have a fair bit of astigmatism in your glasses prescription, you would more than likely benefit for a toric lens at the time of cataract surgery.
If you have any other questions about toric intraocular lenses or cataract surgery in general, please don't hesitate to contact us. Dr. Golen has performed thousands of successful cataract surgeries, and has also trained residents how to perform this amazing procedure.
Or come visit us at Central Florida Ophthalmology in Oviedo, FL. Conveniently located on Alafaya Trail, about a mile north of UCF.