Astigmatism, Cataract

Older Woman SmilingThere are a number of common eye conditions that can affect your vision and eye health. It is important to get regular eye exams in order to catch these conditions and ensure your eyes are healthy! Two common conditions are known as astigmatism and cataracts. But what exactly do both these conditions mean for your vision?

Astigmatism: What is it?

Astigmatism is characterized by an irregular curve in the cornea. This curve results in the distortion of images once they reach the retina and can also make your vision blurry. When someone has astigmatism, their eye (which is normally shaped like a sphere) is shaped similar to a football. This makes it difficult for your eye to properly focus on light. Astigmatism is usually managed through eyeglasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery.

Some symptoms you may experience if you are dealing with astigmatism are:


  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Eyestrain or discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Squinting


Cataracts: What are they?

Cataracts are currently the leading cause of vision loss among adults over the age of 60. More than 22 million people worldwide are affected by this condition. Cataracts occur when the lens of your eye, which is normally clear, becomes cloudy. This makes it difficult for complete the everyday activities that were once easy. Cataracts develop slowly over time, which means you may be unaware of their presence for a long time. As your cataracts continue to grow, the symptoms start to become more apparent.

People who have cataracts usually have one or more of the following symptoms:


  • Blurry vision.
  • Glare, or sensitivity to light.
  • Double vision in one eye.
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription.
  • Difficulty in reading in low light.
  • Declining night vision.
  • Fading or yellowing of colors.


Treatment For Cataracts and Astigmatism Simultaneously

As of right now, the only way to improve your vision when you have cataracts is by undergoing cataract surgery. Luckily, cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures in the world, making it one of the safest and most effective.

When surgeons perform cataract surgery they remove the lens that has been affected by cataracts and replace it with an artificial, clear lens known as an intraocular lens. This lens also contains refractive power much like a contact lens. This means that you can treat astigmatism with this lens as well as fix cataracts. The intraocular lens will have the needed correction built in the lens to correct your astigmatism.

Treating both cataracts and astigmatism at the same time has proven to be very effective as well as time-consuming. Cataracts surgery is normally a 15-20 minute long procedure and fixing astigmatism only adds 5 additional minutes to the procedure.

Next Step

Here at Minnesota Eye Consultants, we care about your vision and eye health. If you or someone you know is dealing with the effects of cataracts or astigmatism, contact our Minneapolis location today! We are happy to provide information regarding the next steps to living your life with clear vision!