In these toggles we explain what you need to know about astigmatism

Astigmatism describes an asymmetry in the curve of the cornea. This causes blurred vision in a similar way to being short-sighted (myopia) or long-sighted (hyperopia).

Watch this video on astigmatism:

Astigmatism occurs when the curve of the cornea is asymmetric so that it looks more like a rugby ball than a football. This produces multiple points of light focus and results in a blurred image.

In most cases, astigmatism is a natural variation. On some occasions astigmatism may be a sign of changes in the cornea that may require further tests.

To diagnose and examine astigmatism, we will perform the following tests:

  • Refraction test
  • Ocular examination
  • A dilated fundus examination to check the health of the eye and retina
  • A special scan that precisely measures the amount of corneal astigmatism

To correct astigmatism, patients must wear glasses or contact lenses.

However, to achieve the best visual outcomes without glasses or contact lenses, astigmatism can also be corrected at the time of cataract surgery or with refractive lens exchange with a choice of toric lens implants.

The most appropriate treatment option for you will depend on several factors, such as your:

  • Spectacle prescription
  • Age
  • Job
  • Hobbies
  • Any existing eye conditions or issues
  • The findings from your clinical examination
  • The results of any further tests or corneal scans

Can I still have a lens replacement operation if I have astigmatism?

Yes, it is possible to correct astigmatism with a toric lens implant. This can be done with either a monofocal or multifocal lens implant.

Can cataract surgery make my astigmatism worse?

It is possible for astigmatism to increase after a cataract operation. This could result in blurred vision unless you wear glasses.

To minimise this risk, the cataract operation may be planned so that any induced change in astigmatism is kept to a minimum.

Furthermore, if the change in astigmatism is likely to be significant, then a toric lens implant may be recommended in order to optimise the visual outcome.

The tests that are performed before surgery will help your surgeon make the most appropriate recommendation.

I’ve already had a cataract operation but still have astigmatism and need to use my glasses all the time. Can this be treated?

Yes, it is possible to treat residual astigmatism.

The options include laser vision correction or a toric piggyback lens implant.

Depending on your individual circumstances, it may be possible to use a multifocal toric piggyback lens implant to treat astigmatism and provide improved reading vision without glasses.

Astigmatism: A tale of Two Patients

Patient 1 received cataract surgery with another surgeon at a different clinic. They had 2.5 dioptres of astigmatism before cataract surgery, but left with 4 dioptres after cataract surgery.

This left the patient with poor vision unless they wore glasses with a strong astigmatic prescription at all times.

The patient came to Prof Muhtaseb for help. He informed the patient of the benefits and risks of the various surgical means that could help to correct the residual astigmatism.

Patient 2 consulted Prof Muhtaseb about cataracts. She had 1 dioptre of astigmatism in her glasses. Prof Muhtaseb calculated the likely outcome with and without a toric lens implant using the latest technology for measuring the eye and calculating the best lens implant.

Taking into account the amount and direction of the astigmatism from the corneal measurements, and the effect of surgery on the corneal shape, Prof Muhtaseb recommended a toric lens implant with 2.75 dioptres of toric astigmatic correction. The patients post-operative result was excellent with zero astigmatism in each eye and sharply focused distance vision.

These cases illustrate the importance of accounting for the magnitude and direction of astigmatism before surgery – measuring the eye with very accurate devices, understanding the effect of surgery on the eye, using the most accurate formulae to model the post-operative outcome, and tailoring the lens implant choice to each individual eye. Every eye is different, and each patient should expect a tailored surgical plan for each eye.

This is Prof Muhtaseb’s standard of care.


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Discover the number one mistake patients make when choosing cataract surgery

Most people have cataract surgery without knowing about all the options they actually have surrounding cataract surgery. Unfortunately, most people only find this out after having cataract surgery. The information in this Wales Cataract Guide could save you frustration and worry. Simply click the button below to give us your email and we’ll send you this life changing guide:


If you can see yourself below, then we can help you

You’re over 45 and would love to read again without glasses

Unfortunately, reading glasses or varifocals get in the way of many of the things you most enjoy. Yes, spectacles help, but they are annoying little appendages that you lose or must clean to see clearly.

If you feel annoyed, anxious and limited by reading glasses or varifocal spectacles, we can help. Don’t let your favourite hobbies become tiring chores.

Be free from reading specs for good. Experience the liberation from squinting and headaches that you might have already begun to accept as part of life.

Instead, look forward to enjoying everything that your vision has to offer. Whether you enjoy reading, gardening, or the great outdoors, everything looks better when your eyes see as young as you feel.

Get a new lease on life. Contact us today and take the first step towards a better life.

Your vision is yellowing, duller, and cataracts are forming. You feel like your eyes are letting you down

The effect on your life can vary from being slightly frustrating, through to significantly affecting your ability to function independently, or even causing a devastating reduction in vision.

Before you developed cataracts, you were living a full life. You may enjoy the outdoors, have indoor hobbies or enjoy travelling. Or, perhaps you have finished working and are now taking the time to enjoy everything you may have missed when you were busy making a living.

Sadly, your eyes now dull the shine of life’s beautiful landscape. The trees, the flowers and even the sky don’t seem as bright as they used to look.

Get your life back without the compromise. Experience what life used to look like. Even better, if you’ve worn glasses or contact lenses, discover the incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that modern cataract surgery affords.


We treat patients from all across Wales

“I would like to thank you most sincerely for the laser surgery you performed to improve my eyesight. It really has improved the quality of my life and I feel like a new person.”

R M, Refractive Surgery

“I was given a choice of lenses and detailed information before making my decision. I am now able to drive and read without glasses. It was entirely painless and the care I received before and after the procedures was excellent.”

Mrs. B R, Intraocular Lens

“I was very impressed with the preop eye assessment and the consultation by Mr Muhtaseb explaining the options properly, sensibly and in detail focusing on my individual situation. Surgery (PRK) went well, and the results are excellent.”

Dr. C E, Laser Refractive Surgery

“My vision is really clear. I easily read the Sunday paper without glasses the day after my surgery.”

M B, Lens Exchange

“A very grateful thank you to you and your team for the operations that have enhanced my sight so much. It is a wonderful feeling to have my confidence back both in walking and driving”

Mrs. F L, Cornea

“Many thanks to ‘The No. 1 Medic’.”

Dr. A E, Intraocular Lens

“Thank you so much, you’ve changed my life forever.”


“Mr Mutaseb and his team were very professional , friendly and reassuring and held a no hassle policy on having to follow through with any procedure for laser correction. The procedure could not have run smoother and the after care was excellent.”


“I am very happy with Mr Muhtaseb’s professional, detailed and careful approach to my surgery. I have had successful surgery and am very happy with the result. This has been a life changing surgery for me.”

Professor H J, Refractive Surgery

“Thank you for all that you have done. I would not have gone through it without the complete trust I have in you. Thanks again.”

Mrs. S G, Multifocal Intraocular Lens

“It’s fantastic. I feel like a new person.”

D R, Refractive Lens Exchange

“Thank you for taking such good care of me during my LASIK surgery – I was terrified! I am so pleased with the outcome, which was pretty much instant – it has made such a difference to my life not having to wear glasses all the time.”


“Many thanks to you and your team for all the kindness, care and expertise shown to me when having my cataracts removed. It is lovely to have a new lease of life.”

Mrs. R B, Cataracts

“I can’t thank you enough for the gift your ability as a surgeon has given me. I am like a child with a wonderful new toy. I can see the world anew.”

Mrs. A D, Refractive Lens Exchange

“I’m amazed at how much I can see.”

C H, Multifocal Lens

“I made my highest break in years last week. It was 137!”

Anonymous, Multifocal Piggyback Lens
More patient stories

Patients will form queues for post-COVID cataract surgery. You can make progress towards clear vision (and beat the queue for surgery) by having your first appointment from the safety of your home

Meet online with our surgeon, Prof Muhtaseb, and get a clear answer about all of your cataract surgery options (including the little known possibility of fixing your reading and/or distance vision at the same as you fix your cataracts). Critically, after your video appointment, you will have the opportunity to secure your spot in the waiting list once our clinic re-opens. Click the button below now to book your video consultation…


Enjoy a life free from cataracts, glasses and contact lenses in three easy steps

Talk to us

Give us a call on:

073 80 80 2000 and we’ll guide you towards an initial assessment.


Meet your consultant

I’ll see you before treatment to ensure you’re a good candidate and treat you at one of my facilities in South Wales.

Revitalise your eyes

I’ll supervise your aftercare as you begin to experience a life free of cataracts and glasses and contact lenses.


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Prof Mohammed Muhtaseb, FRCOphth

Consultant Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgeon

iLase is the private practice of Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Prof Mohammed Muhtaseb. Based in South Wales, he is one of the very few ophthalmologists working in the UK who is a fellowship-trained specialist in Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He holds full specialist registration with the General Medical Council and was appointed as a Consultant in the NHS in 2006.

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