Pros And Cons Of Toric Lens Implants For Astigmatism

Health & Medical Blog

If you've been considering laser cataract surgery to fix astigmatism, you may have heard about optional lens implants you can get during the surgery, such as a toric lens. A toric lens is a type of intraocular lens that is designed to fix an uneven curve in your cornea that can cause blurred or distorted vision. These lenses can provide welcome benefits over just the surgery, but depending on your individual circumstances, they may not be for you.

Toric Lenses Can Improve Vision Without Glasses

Normal surgery without IOLs can improve blurry vision or remove "rings" from your vision, but you may still need glasses if you are near or short-sighted. If the problem you're trying to correct is not severe, the implant could replace your glasses by simultaneously correcting any curvature issues as well as refractive issues.

Implants Reduce Need for Additional Surgery

Occasionally, one surgery may not be enough to correct your problem, and you may require additional surgery like PRK or astigmatic keratotomy. However, if you have a toric lens implant, this reduces the likelihood of requiring any post-operative corrections. If any residual problems remain, they are usually minimal enough that they can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses.

Monofocal Lenses Won't Correct All Vision Problems

If you wear bifocal lenses, toric lenses won't completely fix your need for prescription glasses. Since they are monofocal lenses, they can help improve your near or farsightedness, but not both. The good news is that this could still decrease the amount of time you need to spend wearing glasses, but the bad news is you will still need them. Alternatively, you can get bifocal implants, but these are more expensive.

Incorrect Measurements or Lens Materials May Require Correction

Each toric lens is specifically fitted to your eye to fix any curvature problems; this is done when your doctor measures the curve of your cornea, calculating what lens is needed to correct the problem. There is a small chance that the lens you receive may be measured incorrectly, or is insufficient to correct your problem completely, resulting in some residual blurriness. This can be fully corrected with glasses, but if you want the lens itself to be corrected, this will require additional surgery. There is also a small chance that your lens may slip; this is painless, but inconvenient. You can get a replacement lens of a different material that may not slip, but again, this requires additional surgery.

Implants Can Be Expensive Additional Costs

To many insurance plans, toric lenses are not considered "medically necessary." While the cost of the surgery itself may be covered, the implants will often be extra. Part of the high cost is because these lenses are more difficult to implant properly. Before you opt in to anything, call your insurance provider to see what they can do for you.

Again, these may not be the right solutions for you.  Ask your local optometrist to see if they offer other options, like laser cataract surgery.


29 December 2016

Help Others Make Health Decisions when They Cannot

One day I was playing a game of basketball with a friend, and the friend I was playing ball with tripped and took a hard fall to the ground. He hit his head hard, but he insisted he was okay and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I knew in my heart that he was not thinking clearly, and I didn't feel right letting him go home. I talked him into letting me take him to the hospital, and after some tests, it was determined he had a bad concussion. The doctors told me that if I had let him go home and sleep, things could have taken a turn for the worse. I created this blog to remind everyone to look out for each other after injuries. Not everyone thinks clearly after a head injury, and just being a good friend could save a life.