Question: My mom is scheduled to cataract surgery in one of her eyes and her cataract surgeon insists on correcting her astigmatism at the same time as cataract removal. Besides extra cost for astigmatism correction I would like to know is this really necessary as she is 76 years old? How safe it is considering her age? Does it make sense to do only cataract removal without correcting astigmatism or we should go for this extra procedure?
Answer: In order to have the best results and vision after cataract surgery, patients who have astigmatism need to have it corrected. It can be corrected in eyeglasses-that you will have to purchase, probably several times over the year, it can be corrected with a second surgical procedure called Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI), or it can be corrected with a toric lens implant. Both the LRI and the toric lens implant provide your mother with less dependence on glasses for seeing clearly at a distance which is a safer and more comfortable correction in terms of mobility. She could however wear glasses if the astigmatism wasn’t too bad and didn’t limit her mobility. I am sure you would NOT want to see your mom take a fall and break a hip due to uncorrected astigmatism blurring her vision. So, yes it needs to be corrected and you should follow the advice of her cataract surgeon.
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