Can IOLs Help With Astigmatism? By Monterey County Eye Associates on March 30, 2024


A monofocal IOL

Cataracts are a common problem for older people; they cause vision to become cloudy or foggy. Although there is no cure for cataracts, they can be treated with surgery. During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).

While IOLs are best known for treating cataracts, they can also be used to improve astigmatism, enabling patients with both vision problems to see more clearly. At Monterey County Eye Associates, we offer a wide range of IOL options to patients in Monterey, Salinas, King City, and surrounding areas to improve vision and reduce dependency on eyeglasses. We welcome you to schedule a consultation to find out if IOLs are right for you.

What Are IOLs?

IOLs are artificial lenses that are used to improve vision through a minor surgical procedure in which the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an IOL. By replacing the natural lens, IOLs can treat cataracts, but may also be used to correct refractive errors such as astigmatism.

When cataracts and astigmatism are present, IOLs can be used to treat both conditions at the same time and improve overall vision.

How Can IOLs Help Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a type of refractive error caused by an irregularly curved lens or cornea. This irregular curvature affects how light enters the eye and reaches the retina, causing blurry vision. In addition to blurry vision, many people with astigmatism see halos or streaks around lights at night, especially while driving.

There are several different types of IOLs, but toric lenses are the only ones that can correct astigmatism. Toric IOLs correct astigmatism due to their unique shape, which compensates for the irregular curve of the lens or cornea and helps the eyes focus correctly so vision is clear.

Toric IOLs can be monofocal or multifocal to correct astigmatism with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or presbyopia.

  • Toric monofocal IOLs: Toric monofocal IOLs correct astigmatism but only at a single focus. This means only near vision or far vision will be corrected, but not both. Patients who choose monofocal IOLs but want both near and far vision corrected may choose to wear glasses to correct their field of vision that isn’t corrected by their IOLs.
  • Toric Multifocal IOLs: Toric multifocal IOLs can correct vision at multiple distances, making them a good option for those who have astigmatism and both near and far vision problems.

The Benefits of Toric IOLs

Toric IOLs offer many benefits to those looking for astigmatism correction during cataract treatment. Some of the many benefits include:

  • Clearer, overall improved vision
  • Reduction of halos and streaks around lights at night
  • Improved quality of life
  • Less dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Permanent solution to improving vision

Schedule a Consultation

Toric IOLs are a great option for improving vision in patients who have astigmatism and cataracts. For more information about how IOLs can help with astigmatism and cataracts, or to discuss your other eye care needs, please schedule a consultation with Monterey County Eye Associates.

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The team of doctors at Monterey County Eye Associates

Monterey County Eye Associates
Leland H. Rosenblum, MD - MBEC
Eric J. Del Piero, MD

Our team of ophthalmologists provides state-of-the-art eye care using the latest technology. They are proud to be affiliated with: 

  • AAO: American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • ABO: American Board of Ophthalmology

To schedule an appointment, please call us at one of our four ophthalmologist office locations in Monterey, Ryan Ranch, Salinas, and King City, or contact us online.

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