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Astigmatism and vision: should all astigmatism always be corrected?
  1. James S Wolffsohn1,
  2. Gurpreet Bhogal1,
  3. Sunil Shah1,2
  1. 1 Ophthalmic Research Group, Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 Midland Eye, Solihull, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor James Wolffsohn, Ophthalmic Research Group, Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK; j.s.w.wolffsohn{at}

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As technology and medical devices improve, there is much interest in when and how astigmatism should be corrected with refractive surgery. Astigmatism can be corrected by most forms of refractive surgery, such as using excimer lasers algorithms to ablate the cornea to compensate for the magnitude of refractive error in different meridians. Correction of astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery is well developed and can be achieved through incision placement, relaxing incisions and toric intraocular lens (IOL) implantation.1 This was less of an issue in the past when there was a lower expectation to be spectacle independent after cataract surgery, in which case the residual refractive error, including astigmatism, could be compensated for with spectacle lenses.

The issue of whether presurgical astigmatism should be corrected can be considered separately depending on whether a patient has residual accommodation, and the type of refractive surgery under consideration. We have previously reported on the visual impact of full correction of astigmatism, rather than just correcting the mean spherical equivalent. Correction of astigmatism as low as 1.00 dioptres significantly improves objective and subjective measures of functional vision in prepresbyopes at distance and near.2

In presbyopes who have a monofocal …

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  • Contributors All authors were involve in drafting and revising the article, and approval of the final version.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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