Astigmatism and vision: should all astigmatism always be corrected?

James S. Wolffsohn*, Gurpreet Bhogal, Sunil Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


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. 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-3
Number of pages2
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Published by


  • astigmatism
  • Toric
  • adaptation
  • intraocular lens
  • reading
  • visual acuity


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