Can You Fix my Astigmatism?

Susan from Bethany, Ontario asks Dr. David Lane from if her astigmatism can be fixed.
Astigmatism is a common type of eyeglasses prescription that makes your vision blurry at ALL distances (ie distance, intermediate, and close up vision). It is due to your eye having a surface shape like an egg, rather than a golf ball. In other words, the eye is not perfectly round.

Astigmatism is corrected with glasses, or laser vision correction in early life.

Later in life when you have cataracts, your astigmatism can be corrected at the same time as cataract surgery.

During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens of your eye (cataract) is removed, and replaced with an artificial lens implant (Intraocular Lens Implant).

If the astigmatism is small (less than 0.75 units), then special laser incisions (femtolaser laser relaxing incisions) can be made in the cornea to correct the astigmatism. If the amount of astigmatism is larger (greater than 0.75 units), then a Toric Implant can be used as an intraocular lens to correct it. This special implant has to be rotated into a specific orientation inside your eye (depending on the axis of your unique astigmatism). This type of implant gives sharper distance vision than a standard implant. Reading glasses for up close vision are still needed after surgery.

Lastly, the astigmatism can also be corrected with a Presbyopic Toric Implant, which would correct distance, intermediate, and closeup vision. This advanced implant option gives the most independence from eyeglasses after cataract surgery.