Eyesight Ophthalmic Services have been in the forefront of vision correction for over 20 years now. We offer unmatched experience utilizing the best available technology in cataract surgery including the latest in intraocular lens (“IOLs”) that will work best for your vision correction needs. Today’s procedures offer shorter recovery times, are virtually painless, and the improvement in your vision will be almost immediate.
The types of lenses available today are so advanced that they are even attracting those individuals who don’t have cataracts, but want to reduce their dependence on glasses for all ranges, such as distance, intermediate, and near ranges. This can often eliminate the need for glasses and, even, bifocals.
Toric IOL – this is a special intraocular lens (“IOL”) created for cataract patients who suffer from astigmatism and is an option for some cataract patients who want to correct astigmatism without undergoing additional surgery. That means a faster, more predictable, and comfortable recovery than ever before.
Astigmatism is a problem where the cornea is shaped like a football instead of a baseball. This means that the uneven shape bends light rays so they do not focus precisely on the retina, resulting in blurred vision.
Most surgeons who treat astigmatism in their cataract patients tend to use astigmatic keratotomy (AK), which involves making incisions in the cornea. These incisions, known as LRIs (short for limbal relaxing incisions), cause the cornea to heal in a more spherical shape. Now, instead of additional surgery, cataract patients have another option – the a Toric IOL. This implant is specially designed to incorporate astigmatism correction, eliminating the need for additional LRIs in many cases. That means a faster, more predictable, and more comfortable recovery. For patients with unusually high amounts of astigmatism, implanting the toric lens means that less surgery is needed to achieve the same amount of correction. For patients with reasonable amounts of astigmatism who have the toric lens implanted in both eyes, the likelihood of not ever needing distance glasses is quite high.
Toric IOL and Cataract Surgery – The Toric IOL is generally used in conjunction with cataract surgery. Cataracts are opacities that form in the eye’s crystalline (natural) lens and are caused by a breakdown of tissue and accumulation of proteins that make the lens cloudy. Over time, cataracts cloud the lens and keep light from reaching the retina, creating impaired, blurred vision. The only treatment that removes cataracts is cataract surgery, which involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL). A Toric IOL is used to treat cataract patients who want to correct astigmatism without undergoing additional surgery. The toric lens will remain in the eye for life and will need no particular care. It will simply be a part of your eye.
Frequently Asked Questions about Toric IOLs
The following information answers questions that we frequently hear from our patients about the Toric IOL however, some of these questions also apply to Cataract Surgery and other intraocular lenses (IOLs) including: Tecnis and Crystalens. For more information, please contact us.
- What does IOL mean?
- What are IOLs?
- What are cataracts?
- How do I know if I have cataracts?
- How do I know if I need AcrySof Toric IOL?
- What is astigmatism?
- Are there different kinds of cataracts?
- What causes cataracts?
- Do only older people get cataracts?
- Is cataract surgery dangerous to your eyes?
- Is cataract surgery done with a laser?
- How much time must go by before the second eye is treated?
- I wear contact lenses. Can I wear them to your office for cataract surgery?
What does IOL mean?
IOL stands for Intraocular lens.
What are IOLs?
Intraocular lenses are artificial lenses created to replace a clouded natural lenses, caused by cataracts. In addition, IOL’s can be implanted “electively”. This means patients who want to reduce or eliminate their need for glasses, or who may not have visually significant cataracts, can also have the procedure. The cost of procedure would be paid for without the assistance of their insurance company.
What are cataracts?
Cataracts are opacities that form in the eye’s crystalline lens and are caused by a breakdown of tissue and accumulation of proteins that cloud the lens. Over time, cataracts cloud the lens and do not allow light to reach the retina, producing blurred vision.
How do I know if I have cataracts?
At first, it’s hard to tell. You’ll notice some deterioration of your vision, such as more sensitivity to lights at night, colors look less vivid and bright, double vision, or some blurriness. Initially, a new glasses or contact lens prescription might help, but at some point, cataract surgery may become necessary. If cataracts develop in both eyes, each eye will be treated separately, so you retain your vision and functionality in between surgery dates.
How do I know if I need a Toric IOL?
Only your eye doctor or eye surgeon can tell you for sure. However, if you have cataracts, are a candidate for cataract surgery, and are trying to correct astigmatism, a Toric IOL may be a good option for you.
What is astigmatism
An astigmatism is an extra curvature in the cornea in which the cornea is shaped more like a football instead of a basketball. This uneven shape bends light rays so they do not focus precisely on the retina, resulting in blurred vision.
Are there different kinds of cataracts?
Yes. Cataract types include:
- Cataracts that affect the center of the lens (nuclear cataracts). A nuclear cataract may at first cause you to become more nearsighted or even experience a temporary improvement in your reading vision. But with time, the lens gradually turns more densely yellow and further clouds your vision.
As the cataract slowly progresses, the lens may even turn brown. Advanced yellowing or browning of the lens can lead to difficulty distinguishing between shades of color.
- Cataracts that affect the edges of the lens (cortical cataracts). A cortical cataract begins as whitish, wedge-shaped opacities or streaks on the outer edge of the lens cortex.
As it slowly progresses, the streaks extend to the center and interfere with light passing through the center of the lens. People with cortical cataracts often experience problems with glare.
- Cataracts that affect the back of the lens (posterior subcapsular cataracts). A posterior subcapsular cataract starts as a small, opaque area that usually forms near the back of the lens, right in the path of light on its way to the retina.
What causes cataracts?
The cause isn’t clear, however, studies have been done that suggest some risk factors include:
- Prolonged use of steroids
- Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight)
- Exposure to cosmic radiation
- Over-consumption of alcohol
- Prolonged exposure to air pollution
- Exposure to lead
Do only older people get cataracts?
No. Advancing age is certainly a predisposing factor, and by the age of 75 or so, nearly everyone is said to have at least the beginning of a cataract. However, some babies are born with congenital cataracts, some apparently inherited, and others, the result of the mother having an infectious disease while pregnant, such as chickenpox or German measles. Young healthy patients can also develop cataracts as stated above.
Is cataract surgery dangerous to your eyes?
All surgery carries some risk, and cataract surgery is no exception. However, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed procedure in the U.S., and if you choose an experienced eye surgeon, risk is minimal.
Is cataract surgery done with a laser?
Most commonly the lens is removed with ultrasound rather than a laser to break up the lens with the cataract before removing it. Also, after some surgeries, the pocket, or membrane that encases the eye’s lens becomes cloudy after the lens is removed, and in these cases, a laser can be used to make a clear opening in that membrane, so that vision isn’t impeded.
How much time must go by before the second eye is treated?
The second surgery can be performed one day after the first surgery, but we prefer to wait at least a week to ensure the first operative eye is healing well.
I wear contact lenses. Can I wear them to your office for cataract surgery?
No. We will be taking a number of measurements of your eyes. These measurements enable us to measure the thickness and curvature of your eye. It is important that candidates do not wear the following prior to the diagnostic evaluation and surgery:
- soft contact lenses – remain out for 5 days;
- toric (for astigmatism) lenses – remain out for 2 weeks; or
- hard contact lenses – remain out for 8 weeks.