Why Am I Seeing Double After Toric Lens Implant?

March 2, 2011

 I had cataract surgery and a toric lens put in about 3 weeks ago, now my depth perception is way off and I can’t drive to work.  The eye that isn’t done yet has a bifocal lens in the glasses and I have put clear glass in the eye that had the surgery.  First thing in the morning, I see double, by the end of the day it’s not too bad.  Is this all going to clear up when I get my other eye done?




Jump down to form below to submit your own comments

108 Responses to “Why Am I Seeing Double After Toric Lens Implant?”

  1. Dr. Ari Weitzner on March 6th, 2011 3:06 pm

    yep! your eyes are not in balance now. hang in there, but of course, be sure to share any concerns with your eye doctor.

  2. bonnie on March 19th, 2011 11:54 am

    I am tentatively scheduled to have toric lens implant surgery and am hesitant about the distance vision…as opposed to my being very nearsighted since grade school. Am I correct to assume that after the surgery I will be just the opposite. being unable to see up close and able to see at a distance. This worries me, as I am required to run a register and count money at work, and I will still need corrective lenses to acheive this if I can’t see close. I am also recently widowed and have no one to drive for me if I can’t see.

  3. Dr. Ari Weitzner on March 20th, 2011 12:28 pm

    you should ask to implant the toric lens but leaving you a little near-sighted, like at -1.50. this will allow you to perform most near tasks without glasses. you absolutely must discuss this in detail with the surgeon before surgery.

  4. P Cawley on April 25th, 2011 12:17 pm

    I want this message to be read by the person above who had the Toric implant and is having a hard time with depth perception and seeing double. I assume you supposedly await a second implant in the other eye.. I am in the same situation as you. My depth perception’s way off and I can’t drive either. But the vision in my first eye is miraculous after the toric lense implant (into my left eye) two weeks ago. I’m literally getting around with one eye. I concede that it’s very limiting until I get the other eye done next week, However, knowing I’m having the other eye fixed has me anticipating. This is only a very temporary problem. You make it sound as if it’s permanent for you. Are you not having the other cataract on your other eyes also replaced with the Toric lense… as well?? I am extremely grateful for this coming my way! I had horrible astigmatism since 3rd grade. My glasses have gotten progressively thicker and thicker. I actually consider myself lucky to have gotten cataracts and being a candidate for these implants which equal a miracle.

  5. Karen on May 27th, 2011 6:00 pm

    Now, I’m worried. I just made an appointment for a cataract extraction with a possible Acry Sof Toric implant. (if I so decide) I am doing the research and came upon this site. My left eye has already been implanted with a regular implant, so the 2 implants will not be the same. Should I forgo the Toric implant in the next surgery?

  6. Diane Donahue on October 5th, 2011 11:31 am

    Had toric lens implanted in worse eye Sept 1 – minimal vision before as I was born with “lazy eye”. Can see better than before, could could not read or drive with just that one eye. Had 2nd surgery Sept 15 in better eye. As I wore the gas perm lens contact lens in that eye, had to wait for cornea and biweekly scans to be taken in order for cornea to get back to a more normal position. I was told I would see better distance. Now out of my better eye, I can see extremely well up close, working on computer, etc and intermediate/distance distorted. I thought I could see better distance about a week after surgery, then everything seemed to change. I am on my next to last week of using prednisilione drops. I know eyes have to adjust and my vision is slightly better in the mornings, worse in the evenings. Last check up didn’t reveal any fluid buildup etc. I’m praying this is temporary going into the 3rd week post op. with the distorted vision. With 95% success rate of being able to see distance better with the toric lens, (I have in both eyes) – why am I seeing better up close and distance distorted? Thanks.

  7. ari on October 6th, 2011 1:44 pm

    sounds like your prescription ended up near-sighted instead of far-sighted. not rare- we cant predict 100% how your eye will end up (accuracy is about 90-95%). my advice- enjoy your near vision and wear glasses for far. im near-sighted, and i love it.

  8. virginia on October 15th, 2011 11:08 am

    i had toric’s implanted in both eyes….developed double in both…

    only required a YAG..a few second laser correction

    wasn’t a big deal….it happens, but you must speak up immediately when something isn’t right..just like you would after any medical procedure

  9. Dawn on January 8th, 2012 8:57 pm

    I had a toric implant 2 months ago in my right eye when correcting cataract surgery. My lens shifted forward. I am now farsighted and see shapes differently. Everything is a trapezoid with the bottom part of a square about 20% less than the top. I have some double vision, light flashes and holographic images, some times in triplicate all on my peripheral vision. What now? Will it get better? It’s like being in a fun house, but I’m not having fun with my distorted vision and light flashes. Need help! Thank you.

  10. ari on January 9th, 2012 10:16 am

    interesting complaints. i would first make sure your retina is normal- get an oct to rule out epiretinal membrane–that would be the most common cause of distortion. hard to explain how the implant can be causing the double vision, unless it is extremely dislocated. it has nothing to do with the toricity. double/triple vision very hard to blame on the implant. perhaps you have some posterior capsular opacification that is splitting the light? if your surgeon cant give you good answer, get 2nd opinion.

  11. Toni on May 22nd, 2012 11:17 pm

    I had toric implant and now my side vision isn’t the grea/test. After the first eye there was an imbalance but they said that was normal. But how do u get the peripheral vision back? The surgery didn’t hurt at all. The one eye was 20/40 and a month later is 20/50 is that normal?

  12. ari on June 5th, 2012 8:18 pm

    the side vision issue is due to the shape of the implant, regardless of the toricity. its very common and you will slowly get used to it. the vision can fluctuate a little in the first month.

  13. alice on June 10th, 2012 12:23 am

    i had a toric lens implanted in my Right Eye after cataract surgery about 2 months later , i began to see double images.

    could this be due to a shift in the lens?

  14. charla on June 25th, 2012 12:44 am

    I am scheduled for cataract surgery and undecided about a toric lens. I don’t mind wearing glasses. What happens as you age? In the past, my vision has slowly worsened from 11 years old to now 66 years. With a toric lens do you just start better again but slowly deteriorate over time? Or because it is an artificial lens, you remain constant?

  15. Karin on June 25th, 2012 4:49 pm

    I had cataract surgery and a toric lens implanted on June 13/12. I am now very near sighted with very blurry distance vision. I saw the surgeon today and he told me it may have to do with the lens shifting. I see him again on July 18. He told if at that time the blurry distance vision hadn’t cleared up he would make a laser adjustment to it. After that I would need readers but would probably have better distance vision. My other eye is “lazy” and I am very worried. The vision I have now on my once good eye is a complete reversal of what I had before. Has anyone experienced a toric lens shifting into place after the surgery?

  16. ari on June 27th, 2012 11:14 am

    rare, but no unheard of. has nothing to do with the toricity. if you can read with the eye now w/o glasses, my advice is to leave things alone and get glasses for distance.

  17. ari on June 27th, 2012 11:16 am

    charla- your prescription wil not change at all after surgery. i strongly advise the toric lens- there is downside, and your vision will be much better w/o glasses. think about it- instead of buying glasses after surgery for the astigmatism, why not implant that astigmatism correction permanently into your eye?

  18. Karin on July 22nd, 2012 9:34 pm

    I have my cataract surgery over a month ago and my distance is still blurry after about 4 to 5 feet. The surgeon first offered to give me a laser adjustment when he realized he had miscalulated, then changed his mind telling me it was too risky because my other eye is “lazy” and I can’t see much with it. After spending 950.00 on the toric lens I now have to buy glasses again. I told him I wasn’t happy with this and he told me he wasn’t going to sit there and argue with me. Because of his unprofessional behavior both in the operating room and checkups, I cancelled my operation for the lazy eye. My optometrist is getting me an appointment with another surgeon. My question is, is laser surgery risky on a toric lens that was put in the wrong position?

  19. ari on July 24th, 2012 8:45 am

    not any more risky than regular lasik. toric lens is not perfect- i always tell patients that it gives BETTER uncorrected vision than a regular implant. this way, no one is disappointed if the results are not as good as we hoped. thankfully, it works well the vast majority of the time. as we have noted on these pages, new technology is on the horizon where the power of the implant can be adjusted using special laser after surgery (the LAL lens). also, there is a new gizmo coming out which can measure the prescription of the eye while you are on the table, so we can confirm everything is correct before you leave the O.R.

  20. Jack on December 12th, 2012 2:03 am

    Had cataract and lens implant in both eyes about a year ago. Left eye is doing fine but the right eye I noticed about 4 months later was getting a little blurry and with shadows to the left of letters. Went back to doctor on two different occasions. The second time back ( after 11 months ) they told me I would probably need glasses. This did not go over well since it has not even been a year. If a surgeon is in the house, this is the info given to me. Sph -0.25, Cyl -0.75, Axis 085, Prism 1.5 BD. Of course, I have no idea what that means other than having to wear glasses which really does not seat well since the whole meaning of having this done was to get rid of the glasses. Have made an appointment with the surgeon who emailed me and told me all sorts of things that could cause this problem with my right eye. I feel a little ripped off. Someone please tell it like it is for once. FAR SIGHTED

  21. Judy Davis on December 30th, 2012 2:39 am

    I had the toric lens implant for cataract surgery. My vision was 20/200 before surgery. It is now 20/30 without glasses! I am stunned and seeing things I haven’t seen in years. Needles on the Christmas tree for instance. This was done 12/18/12 and I am due to have the other eye done on Jan. 8th. Can’t wait!

  22. ari on December 31st, 2012 6:22 pm

    yep- its a great lens. anyone with astigmatism should get it.

  23. Dana on January 10th, 2013 6:42 am

    I had cataract surgery and a toric lens implanted in my right eye on January 7, 2013. My vision is excellent. However since surgery, when looking at oncoming headlights (and other lights) I am seeing a ray of light from lower left to upper right passing thru the light. It rotates to almost horizontal when I turn my head to the left. I understand that the eye needs to heal, but have not bee able to find information about anyone else that has experienced this symptom. I have done a lot of work with various lens in my photographic work and would not expect this effect with a normal lens. My surgeon did not seemed concern at my appointment the day after surgery.

  24. Sylvia Johnson on January 14th, 2013 3:51 pm

    I was referred to get cataracts removed and my eye doctor said the acrysof toric lens could correct my distance vision and my asthismatism in my left eye. We discussed the fact that my near vision was very good and I didn’t need both lens for near and far vision. Thinking I was getting the best of both worlds, I had the surgery. Needless to say, I am devastated. My doctor nor his nurse never explained that I would have to go to reading glasses constantly! My doctor has agreed to reverse the lens…very upset and scared. Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem! I would have never given up my near vision!!!!

  25. ari on January 16th, 2013 4:40 pm

    this should have been made very clear prior to surgery. i always warn patients who like to read w/o glasses that they will no longer be able to do do if they are corrected for distance. many opt to stay near-sighted

  26. Diane on January 19th, 2013 4:32 pm

    I had cataract surgery on my left eye on 1/10/13. My vision was 20/400, and is now better than 20/20. However, I am having extreme flashing and jerking in my left eye. It always feels like the eye is constantly changing gears to a different lens and is jumping around with any movement of the eye. I see a dark ring on the outside of the eye. I was told by the doctor and his staff that this will go away in a few days, but it hasn’t improved at all. It is especially bad indoors, like in stores or in my office. It makes me feel nauseous and off-balance to the point I have had to leave the store. It is very distressing and scary. I’ve had the eye checked three times by the doctor who says everything is normal and the lens is in the perfect position. He was very defensive and said that he can’t do anything else to help me. He quoted all these figures about the thousands of surgeries he has done and never had this problem. I even see double at times. It seems much better if I am outside and have sunglasses on. I can’t imagine living the rest of my life like this. I plan on getting a second opinion in a couple of weeks. Any suggestions or explanations for this?

  27. Diane on January 19th, 2013 4:40 pm

    Forgot to mention that I had a toric lens put in.

  28. Bernie on January 22nd, 2013 10:01 pm

    I just had cataract surgery using toric lens, I am in the 4th week of right eye and second week of left eye, my vision of distance I right eye is great and sharp. cannot wear the prescription glasses and don’t need them except for real close reading, the left eye, design for close up vision is getting better all the time . the day after surgery I could read a 10 or 12 font size sentence, at a distance of 12 to 18 inches with out glasses and getting better each week. Don’t get discouraged and be sure to do all the drops required.

  29. ari on January 23rd, 2013 10:32 pm

    diane– the dark ring is a not uncommon complaint with implants. it has to do with the way the light hits the edge of the implant. vast majority live with it. if it really bothers you so much, consider making your pupil smaller with pilocarpine drops, or, have the implant replaced with one with a different edge design. it has nothing to do with the toricity. any acrysof lens (the most common lens on the market) will give this side effect

  30. louise on January 25th, 2013 3:19 pm

    i have appt to start my surgery with implants—dont’ know if i’ll let them use Toric or just regular lens and after reading where so many are didappointed with there results i may cancel it all out
    i dont’ need glasses to read now and hate to give that upwhich will be the case if i go forward dont’ know if i can pass the eye test to get my drivers lisence renewed
    should i cancle?

  31. ari on January 27th, 2013 5:55 pm

    the toric lens is a no-brainer. why replace the cataract and not address the astigmatism? there are basically no side effects from a toric lens compared to a regular lens. its a mistake not to get toric.

  32. NITA COX on February 6th, 2013 11:08 am

    i’m scheduled to have cataract surgery soon, should i go toric or regular lens,i have to wear glasses all the time,and have high astigmatism,also 81yrs. old,would it help me enough,considering the cost?

  33. Jodie Lynn on February 9th, 2013 11:15 am

    Had cataract surgery with toric lens, BUT, decided on monovision. Three days after yag on left eye (up close vision) the distance vision that was fine became distorted; the up close vision changed and no longer did the two eyes focus at the distance as they had prior. Doctor said I need to do lasik. Not happy.

  34. Margarete on February 9th, 2013 11:53 am

    I had cataract surgery on my right eye two months ago and a mono-focal lens implant. A day after the surgery, my vision was much clearer and my eye felt as if nothing had been done to it at all. A few days ago I had surgery on my left eye which was actually my better eye. Again I had a mono-focal lens implant, Since the surgery I feel as if there is a foreign body in my eye; I even seem to see something at the edge of the eye, like part of a ring. My vision with this eye is very blurry. When reading, about five words look bold and the next two words look very light even though they are all the same. I was told before the surgery that I had astigmatism but I decided against the toric lens because I thought that the astigmatism was caused by my cornea and if there were cornea changes in the future, the toric lens would not be effective anymore.
    I always assumed that after cataract surgery the astigmatism would affect your vision of both eyes but if I covered my good eye, I would see as clearly with the stigmatism eye as with the good eye. Was this assumption wrong?
    I now believe that the implanted lens was not positioned correctly. Does anyone have any idea?

  35. ari on February 10th, 2013 1:39 pm

    the foreign body sensation is from the incision- it will go away sooner or later.

    the ring you see is a shadow caused by the edge of the implant. it is not a rare complaint, and almost everyone gets used to it. but your complaint about words looking light is a little unusual. it may pay to get a second opinion re the centering of the implant- i assume the remainder of your exam, like the retina, is normal-an OCT scan is helpful to rule out subtle problems in the retina like CME that can blur the vision a little.

    your ideas about the astigmatism are unreasonable, im afraid. the changes in corneal astigmatism over time takes decades- it makes little sense to give up astigmatism correction now, just because it may change a little over the next couple of decades. so i think you forfeited better uncorrected vision- not the end of the world, though.

  36. ari on February 10th, 2013 1:42 pm

    nita cox–the toric lens is worth the cost. you will have better uncorrected vision.

    jodie lyn–i cant explain blurred vision after yag. and i dont understand how the up close eye had good distance vision prior to the yag??

  37. BOB FULLER on February 21st, 2013 1:34 am

    I am having cataract surgery and toric implants in a couple of weeks. The surgeon suggested the left eye for distance (dominant eye) and right eye for reading. After reading some of these complaints I am scared that my eyes may not work well together. I can read very small print without glasses and hate to lose that. I am right handed and hunt a lot, aiming with my right eye. I hope I can still be able to shoot a gun for distance and read my computer without glasses. We had planned to use restor lens but too much astigmatism in both eyes resulting me to change to the toric lens suggested by my surgeon. Question being can I still aim a rifle or shotgun with my right eye with a close up lens? I would also like your opinion on combining the near lens in one eye and distance lens in the other eye. Thanks Bob

  38. Nina on March 2nd, 2013 5:36 am

    I have been short-sighted (-6.50 at present) since the age of 14 with some degree of astigmatism which is getting progressively worse. I wanted laser surgery, but was told it could not be done as my cornea had become too thin due to years of wearing hard lenses. Asked about lens replacement, but was told I had better wait for cataract surgery . However, I have been told by optician as well as other eye specialists that there is no indication of cataract in my eyes. Is there any reason why I cannot have lens replacement surgery? I don’t wish to give up my ability to read without glasses, but then I hate wearing glasses! What is the best solution for me please? I’d appreciate your advice. Thank you

  39. Nina on March 2nd, 2013 5:38 am

    I forgot to mention that I am 59.
    Thank you.

  40. ari on March 3rd, 2013 6:56 pm

    you can most certainly get “cataract” surgery even though there is little or no cataract- “clear lens exchange”. you should definitely consider toric lenses, and make your self like a -2.50 or so. you’ll read nicely w/o glasses.

  41. Misty on March 9th, 2013 2:14 am

    Like Karin, (6/25/2012) I had toric implant in my right eye 2.5 wks ago. I requested correction for distant vision, and the only place my vision is now clear is 4-8′. My cataracts were mild, but I’ve had a sore that won’t heal on my nose caused by glasses frames for 30+ years, and thought going without glasses would clear it up. I don’t mind wearing glasses, but I now feel like my eye is permanently ruined, as distant vision is as poor in my right eye as my left uncorrected eye, close vision is not good enough to read, and my spacial perception is skewed, as described here by others. I have cancelled the surgery on my left eye, as I don’t want it ruined as well by an incorrect RX. How many years until the technology to measure the correction during surgery, as you mentioned, is available? And can this implanted lens ever be “fixed”? I have an appt. next week with the surgeon, who doesn’t seem too concerned, over the phone. Should I get another opinion, or just wait for the new technology and use somebody else. The surgery was flawless, the RX is simply wrong. I’m 63 yrs. old

  42. ari on March 10th, 2013 1:36 am

    there are only a few surgery centers which have the latest high tech machines that can actually measure the prescription of your eyes while you are still on the operating table. i know of only one in new york city- dr. donnenfeld. these machines pretty much make iol power mistakes a thing of the past. new iol’s that can be adjusted in the office with special laser light are almost here- maybe a year or two.

    the only way to fix the eye now is to have the iol surgically replaced- not that big a deal if only a few weeks ago. or, have lasik done to the eye.

  43. sharon liska on March 23rd, 2013 1:06 pm

    I had toric surgery 5 days ago for astigmatism and cataracts on my right eye. My vision was 20/80 and after surgery 20/40. I was wondering if my distant vision will improve in the next couple days. I am scheduled to have the other eye done in four days………..

  44. c spruth on March 25th, 2013 8:02 pm

    I am 16 and just had cataract surgery with a toric lens put in for the astigmatism. When I was younger I also had lazy eye. When I look at people with both eyes they look like cartoons or animated? What is that? It also feels like I have something sharp in my eye. I am also getting headaches. I’ve already returned to the doctor to have fluid taken out of my eye for increased pressure. Is everything going to look like I’m on a psychodelic drug for the rest of my life, I’m only 16! HELP!

  45. ari on March 27th, 2013 8:53 pm

    you may have some residual astigmatism or other non-lens issues, like dry eye. or, implant is not precisely in position. ask the surgeon what he thinks.

  46. Russell on March 29th, 2013 7:19 am

    I’m 67 and I’ve recently had cataracts removed from both eyes and toric lens inserted. I had severe miopia and astigmatism and also have Fuchs Dystrophy. I decided to go ahead with the operation because I was on the borderline for driving. I was struggling to read road signs and to recognise faces from a distance but could read and use my PC (I work in IT) without ,spectacles. I went to a reputable private Eye Clinic via my work health insurance although had to pay for the upgrade to toric lenses. I used a consultant with a good reputation and when I was examined, he told me that he belived I would be O.K. without any surgery for the Dystrophy. I had the operations with a 4 week gap between each eye. Both operations were totally painless and the consultant told me they were clinically perfect. My eyes have been checked and I’m told that the Dystrophy has not deteriorated because of the operation and the new lenses are in the perfect position. The consultant gave me the choice of long or close vision and I chose to improve the long range vision and to get spectacles for reading and PC work. The consultant was very optimistic that i would have good long-range vision and that most – but not all – of my astigmatism could be removed. Sadly, although it’s now 8 weeks since the first eye was done and 4 weeks since the second eye was done, I cannot see clearly either for reading, using the PC or at long distance. The right eye seems to be improved re the astigmatism but the left eye does not. The eyes definitely have different focal lengths and I’m getting floaters on a daily basis from the left eye, although not severely. The consultant has told me to continue putting in eye drops for another month before I go back to see him again. After the first eye was done I had an eye test at the hospital and with the addition of lenses found I got good vision. Hopefully, it will be better than what I had previouly with spectacles but it’s still pretty disappointing!

  47. alyssa on April 2nd, 2013 11:30 am

    I have very poor vision (-11.75 and -11.50). I wear contact lenses right now but need readers to do up-close work. I have developed cataracts and the doctor has said that I have to decide whether I want to be able to see up close (no readers but with glasses for distance) or far (readers but possibly no glasses for vision). I also have astinmatism. I am really torn. What to do? Any recommendations? Also, right now, with no readers and no glasses, I can see approximately 5 inches clearly. Will I lose that?

  48. Carmen on April 2nd, 2013 7:49 pm

    Had a Toric Lens implant, unable to read, was told that Lasik might correct the problem?? Thanks

  49. clinton on April 4th, 2013 11:30 am

    I had astigmatism in both eyes, as well as poor acuity. I had toric lenses placed in both eyes, the latest just over a month ago. I see a ghost image just up and to the left of the good image. If I close the left eye, vision is very good with no ghost. If I close the right eye, there is no ghost image because my image is the former ghost. What could be wrong? Will it go away with time for brain adaptation/ more healing? If not, what could be done?

  50. ari on April 4th, 2013 9:32 pm

    russel- you are not expected to see well at near/computer distance without a new pair of glasses after surgery.

    re distance- it seems the astigmatism reduction was not as good as the surgeon had hoped. unfortunately, the toric lens is not perfect. but with glasses, you should see normally at distance, as long as the fuchs is not affecting the vision.

    alyssa- i would advise getting the toric lens for the astigmatism. whether to get corrected for distance or vision- it all depends on your lifestlye. personally, i like working/reading w/o glasses, so i would opt for some myopia, and wear glasses for distance.

    carmen–the toric lens does not give both distance and reading vision. if you see well at distance w/o glasses, then you need reading glasses to read/computer. lasik will not help.

    clinton–if you see a ghost image with both eyes, but not when one eye is closed, it’s very suspicious for a problem in the alignment of your eyes. this can happen after cataract surgery, and can often go away in few months. if not, you may need prism glasses, or even eye muscle surgery to straighten the eyes. of course, you need a good exam to rule out any other causes of misalignment.

Trackback URL

Have insights to contribute? Please submit your comment below