Astigmatism – Does astigmatism get worse after cataract surgery?

Astigmatism is really common(1), and can affect one, or both, of the eyes. It can appear in people of any age and, usually, people who have astigmatism are either long or short sighted, as well.

It’s caused when the surface of the eye or the lens behind it’s misshapen and not completely spherical, but somewhat oval, distorting the light that enters the eye and stopping it from focusing correctly on the retina; resulting in an image that is somewhat blurry.

There are two kinds of astigmatism: regular and irregular. People who have regular astigmatism have its most common form; their cornea is curved more in one direction than the other – this form can be easily corrected with contact lenses or glasses.

If you have irregular astigmatism, it’s more likely to be the result of damage caused to the cornea by some form of eye injury; this form is where the curve of the cornea isn’t even. It can’t always be corrected using glasses, but, can sometimes be corrected with contact lenses.

Your vision is highly unlikely to get worse after cataract surgery. As you heal from your cataract surgery, you may experience scarring and fibrosis that could cause an IOL to move enough to induce a small amount of astigmatism. This, however, can be easily corrected after your cataract surgery, and pre-existing astigmatism doesn’t get worse from the cataract surgery.



  1. NHS UK: Astigmatism

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