Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trends In Treating Astigmatism

The surgical revolution in treating astigmatism began with the onset of Radial Keratotomy (RK) in the late 1970's and continued into the era of Laser Vision Correction. When a cataract was to be replaced, if you had astigmatism you either had to undergo a procedure like RK called a Limbal Relaxing Incision (LRI) during or after the surgery, or a laser procedure like LASIK or PRK. These all work well.

About 5 years ago there was a new development in Intra-Ocular Lenses (IOL) that not only improved vision after cataract surgery, but also treated astigmatism: Toric IOL's. A study of refractive cataract surgeons like our Dr. White recently reported that 75% now prefer to use these new IOL's rather than LRI's in patients with astigmatism.

"We really like the Alcon Toric IOL when we are aiming to make our  Cleveland patients independent from glasses for their distanc vision needs like driving or watching TV," said Dr. White.  "Our golfers are particularly happy!"

Extra pre-operative measurements like corneal topography are necessary to choose both the power and the orientation of the IOL. Once it's in the eye it is amazingly stable!

The technology of cataract surgery now includes multiple ways to address astigmatism. Dr. White and a majority of the top surgeons in the United States are now opting for a Toric IOL in cases where astigmatism is treated during the surgery.

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