The Eye Clinic is now offering cataract patients one more way to see clearly after cataract surgery. Jon Yokubaitis, MD, ophthalmologist with the group was the first ophthalmic surgeon in Southwest Louisiana to correct astigmatism in cataract patients using the new Tecnis Toric intraocular lens implant (IOL).
Dr. Yokubaitis says that about 40 percent of the population has astigmatism. It can occur in just one, or in both eyes. “Astigmatism usually occurs when the front surface of the eye, the cornea, has an irregular curvature. Normally the cornea is smooth and equally curved in all directions and light entering the cornea is focused equally on all planes, or in all directions. When someone has astigmatism, the front surface of the cornea is curved more in one direction than in the other. This abnormality typically results in vision that is much like looking into a distorted, wavy mirror. Uncorrected astigmatism impairs both distance and near vision.”
A cataract occurs when the normally clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy and interferes with light passing through the eye. Most cataracts are due to the normal aging process of the eye and will affect everyone at some point in their life. Almost all Americans age 65 and older have some degree of cataract formation, and there is no treatment, other than surgery, for the condition.
During cataract surgery, the cataract is removed through a small incision in the eye, and a lens implant is put in place to restore clear vision. “The lens implant is selected based upon the patient’s vision needs – like a contact lens that is inside the eye and never has to be changed,” explains Dr. Yokubaitis.
“Advances in lens implants in recent years have allowed us to correct for most vision problems, giving many patients clear vision at near and far distances. However, correcting for astigmatism during cataract surgery is much more of a challenge. The new Tecnis Toric lenses are designed with a specific shape to counterbalance the irregularity that causes the astigmatism. The result is a permanent correction of your astigmatism, along with a complete restoration of your distance vision, much like a traditional IOL, resulting in a significant decrease in dependency on glasses.”
He adds that cataract patients who get the toric lens are among the most satisfied of all cataract patients. “For people who have lived with astigmatism and its associated blurred vision for decades, seeing the world clearly without glasses is a major accomplishment, often one they never thought possible. With the new lens, we are able to not only remove the cataract, but correct a life-long vision problem as well.”
For more information about the new premium lens implant for astigmatism, or cataract surgery in general, call The Eye Clinic at (337) 478-3810 or 1-800-826-5223.