Many patients have been forced to wear glasses for most of their lives because of astigmatism. Toric lens implants are designed for individuals with significant astigmatism who would like to reduce their dependence on glasses after cataract surgery. These lenses are highly effective at reducing astigmatism and most patients, after surgery, can function well for distance activities without glasses. These lens implants do not provide near focus and reading glasses are still needed for viewing at near after surgery.
The results of the FDA clinical trial with the Alcon Toric lens were as follows:
- For patients with astigmatism in both eyes, the Toric lens provided spectacle free vision at distance for 97% of patients. This is compared to patients with astigmatism who received a standard lens, who were only spectacle free at distance 50% of the time.
- For smaller amounts of astigmatism, a toric lens may not be needed. In these cases, special incisions, called Limbal Relaxing Incisions, may be made in the cornea to change the shape of the eye and reduce astigmatism. Your surgeon will advise you as to the best option for your eyes.
Refinements in lens implant technology have advanced significantly in recent years providing a variety of options to fine-tune the vision after surgery. However, it is important to remember that while cataract surgery with customized intraocular lens implantation frequently results in a reduced dependency or even complete freedom from eye glasses, that it is never possible guarantee complete freedom from glasses after surgery. In addition, there are other factors besides the implant that can determine the final vision after surgery, such as ageing of the retina, the shape of the cornea, or various other degenerative conditions of the eye.