Astigmatism Management with the Toric Intraocular Lens
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens?
The AcrySof Toric intraocular lens is a foldable, single piece lens that an eye surgeon implants during cataract surgery. It replaces the clouded lens (cataract) and corrects for corneal astigmatism.
What is corneal astigmatism?
Sometimes, the surface of the cornea is curved more like a football, with both flatter and steeper curves. When the surface of the cornea has two different curvatures, vision becomes distorted. This common irregularity, called corneal astigmatism, causes blurred or distorted vision because light rays are not focused at one spot to provide clear vision. An AcrySof Toric intraocular lens can correct corneal astigmatism.
What is the benefit of the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens ?
The unique design of the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens makes it possible to reduce or, in many cases, eliminate the effect of corneal astigmatism. This can significantly improve your uncorrected distance vision. AcrySof Toric lens may provide quality distance vision, hence significantly reducing or eliminating your dependence on eyeglasses and/or contact lenses.
Is an AcrySof Toric intraocular lens similar to the natural lens of an eye?
No, a healthy natural lens has the ability change shape so you can focus your vision. As we age our natural lens lose this ability, so we often need eyeglasses. The AcrySof Toric intraocular lens does not change shape, but can corrects corneal astigmatism, thus reducing the need for eyeglasses for distance.
If I have a cataract and corneal astigmatism, how can the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens benefit me?
A person who has both a cataract and corneal astigmatism will not regain high-quality distance vision without glasses after cataract surgery unless the astigmatism can be corrected with a AcrySof Toric intraocular lens.
Are there any risks or side effects to the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens?
Implantation of an AcrySof Toric intraocular lens has many of the same risks and side effects of cataract surgery when a conventional intraocular lens is implanted. These will be explained separately. In some cases, the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens may not correct your corneal astigmatism, but should correct most of it. An implanted AcrySof Toric intraocular lens may rotate after surgery, requiring repositioning in the operating room. It also may over-correct corneal astigmatism.
Will I see 20/20 after surgery?
We hope so, but we can’t guarantee it. You are paying for the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens and the special services necessary for its use, not the result.
Will I need glasses after surgery?
If you opt to receive a conventional intraocular lens you will need glasses after surgery. If you receive the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens there is a good chance you won’t need glasses for distance vision. You will still need glasses for reading.
Is the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens recommended for every patient?
No, patients with severe corneal astigmatism, a history of corneal refractive surgery, and reduced visual potential caused by macular degeneration or bad diabetic retinopathy are not good candidates.
Why don’t you recommend the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens for patients who had refractive surgery?
Good outcomes with AcrySof Toric intraocular lenses require accurate and precise power calculations for lens selection. The pre-operative calculations are very difficult in patients who have had corneal refractive surgery.
What if I don’t see 20/20 without glasses for distance after surgery?
We will prescribe glasses to optimize your vision. You may also elect to wear contact lenses. Only if there was a significant error in lens power calculation will we consider a lens implant exchange.
Why doesn’t insurance (or Medicare) pay for the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens?
These entities pay for surgery and devices that restore functional vision. They will not pay for services that reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses. While Medicare and insurance will cover the cost of a conventional lens implant, they will not pay for the “portion” of a deluxe implant that reduces or eliminates astigmatism.
Can I have the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens implanted later if I decide not to now?
No, the decision needs to be made prior to your cataract surgery.
Can I be implanted with the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens in one eye only?
Yes, if only one eye is affected by corneal astigmatism, there are no disadvantages to only having one eye implanted with the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens.
Will it take longer for my eye to recover from surgery?
Recovery from cataract surgery is the same whether you receive a conventional lens or the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens.
When do I have to decide?
We would like you to decide at the time of your scheduled preoperative visit. We need 7-10 days to order the lens implant.
What do I do if I want the AcrySof Toric intraocular lens?
You should tell one of our office staff. They will have you sign a Non-covered Service Waiver next to a bold “YES.”