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Astigmatism, what is it, and why do I have it?

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that is usually corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or even correction procedures that require minor surgery.

Astigmatism is not unique by any means it is caused by an eye that is not completely round and occurs in nearly everybody to some degree.

A person's eye is naturally shaped like a sphere. Under normal circumstances, when light enters the eye, it refracts, or bends evenly, creating a clear view of the object. However, the eye of a person with astigmatism is shaped more like a football or the back of a spoon. For this person, when light enters the eye it is refracted more in one direction than the other, allowing only part of the object to be in focus at one time. Objects at any distance can appear blurry and wavy.

Astigmatism is a natural and commonly occurring cause of blurred or distorted vision that is usually associated with an imperfectly shaped cornea. When the surface of the cornea has an uneven curvature, shaped more like a football than a basketball, vision becomes distorted. This common irregularity, called a “corneal astigmatism,” causes blurred or distorted vision because light rays are not focused on one spot to provide clear vision.

Some symptoms of astigmatism are often blurred vision which can be associated with fatigue and eyestrain. These symptoms may not necessarily be the result of astigmatism, you should schedule and eye exam if you are experiencing one or more symptoms.

Your eye specialist can diagnose astigmatism with a thorough eye exam. Astigmatism may occur with other vision problems such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Because it may increase slowly, you should visit your eye doctor whenever you notice changes in your vision.

Treat cataracts and astigmatism with one procedure.

The toric lens is changing the way people see cataract surgery and life. It provides clear distance vision for patients with astigmatism, usually without the need for glasses. Simply put, in most cases the toric lens lets you leave your glasses and contacts behind and recapture quality distance vision in one step.

Typically, patients who undergo cataract surgery receive a mono focal IOL that doesn't correct other vision problems such as astigmatism.  If you have astigmatism, you may still experience blurred and distorted vision because a mono focal IOL cannot correct pre-exising astigmatism.  High quality vision is not regained unless the astigmatism is also corrected.

The AcrySof Toric IOL is an ideal solution for patients with both cataracts and astigmatism which is a common condition that can result in the blurring of your vision, whether looking near or far, while cataracts develop as you age and cloud your vision. This can affect how you perform and enjoy everyday activities such as writing, using a smart phone or driving. Astigmatism usually occurs when the cornea or lens is misshapen and, if you have astigmatism, chances are you already wear glasses or contact lenses to correct the problem.

Cataract patients have a choice of treatments, including the toric intraocular lens (IOL) that treats pre-existing astigmatism at the same time that it corrects cataracts.

If you are a cataract patient previously diagnosed with astigmatism, the toric IOL lens implant may be an option for you! Please contact The Cataract Surgery Center of Milford to discuss your candidacy!

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