In astigmatism, the eye can be thought of as rugby ball-shaped, rather than football-shaped, which means that light rays can only be focused on the retina using lenses that are stronger in one orientation than another.
In conventional cataract surgery, a monofocal intraocular lens is placed, which does not correct astigmatism. A toric lens has special optics inbuilt, which, when correctly placed inside the eye, cancels out the abnormal astigmatism and allows clear distance vision without the need for corrective glasses. Except in very special circumstances, such lenses are not available in the NHS setting.
Bespoke toric, multifocal lenses are also available, allowing correction of astigmatism, as well as doing away with the need for reading glasses. Talk to your surgeon for more information regarding these special lenses, or click on the leaflet in the menu to your right.