If you have cataracts and astigmatism,
limbal relaxing incisions (LRI) may be used to treat your astigmatism during your cataract surgery.
LRI are the most common surgical technique used to correct minor astigmatism
as part of cataract surgery. Astigmatism is an eye condition in which
the shape of the cornea or lens of the eye is abnormally curved. Due to
the irregular curvature, light does not hit the eye in such a way that
it is properly focused on the retina and both distance and close range
vision is affected.
Symptoms of astigmatism include blurry vision, eyestrain, headaches and
squinting to see clearly. Some people may have astigmatism, as well as
another refractive error, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.
The LRI procedure involves making small incisions at the opposite edges
of the cornea, causing a slight flattening in that direction. This can
be done manually or with the femtosecond laser. These incisions are made
outside the field of view, so they do not affect one’s vision as
other corneal surgeries, such as radial keratotomy, might.
LRI are simpler and less expensive than laser surgery such as LASIK or
photorefractive keratectomy, and good results are not dependent on a highly
precise location or the length of the incisions. If all of the astigmatism
is not corrected, a later surgery to extend the incisions may be performed.
Recovery from LRI is typically quick and painless, though the patient
may experience some discomfort.
If you have astigmatism and cataracts, a consultation with your eye doctor
is necessary to determine whether limbal relaxing incisions or another
treatment option is best for you. If you have mild to moderate astigmatism,
eyeglasses or toric contact lenses may be recommended to treat your astigmatism
instead of LRI.
Contact Key-Whitman to schedule a free consultation to determine if you
are a candidate for LRI to correct astigmatism.