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Can I Have Laser Eye Surgery if I Have Macular Degeneration?

The leading cause of sight loss in the UK, macular degeneration is a common visual condition that affects millions of people around the world.

Although it’s most often considered as age-related, macular degeneration is a genetic condition that can affect anyone at any time.

Macular degeneration comes in two types, “early” or “dry” (the most common), which involves the thinning of the retina, and “exudative” or “wet”, which involves normal blood vessels growing underneath the retina. Both typically affect your ability to see fine details, both up close and at distance, and specifically in your central vision.

For instance, a lot of people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), may be able to see a clock but not be able to tell what time it is, or similarly may be able to see a person but have difficulty recognising their face.

This can make AMD a troubling condition that can make many everyday tasks and activities tricky to perform as well as social interactions challenging to engage in.

As such a common and disruptive condition, many people wonder whether or not they can have Laser Eye Surgery if they have AMD and more so if Laser Eye Surgery can treat the condition. Laser Eye Surgery is one of the most advanced vision correction techniques, and here we’re going to discuss these queries a bit further.

Laser Eye Surgery and macular degeneration

Mr Carp explains more about to expect from Laser Eye Surgery if you have macular degeneration.

To cut straight to the chase, the good news is that if you have macular degeneration it is possible to have Laser Eye Surgery. However, the bad news is that Laser Eye Surgery does not specifically treat AMD, and so the effect it can have on the condition and its visual impairments is limited.

As Mr Carp explains in the video above, macular degeneration affects the retina. In particular, the central retinal area known as the macula.

In this area, small deposits are formed within the actual retina and these in turn cause damage to the retinal photoreceptor cells which absorb the light once it has been focused into the eye. Patients who have macular degeneration and who have damage as a result of having macular degeneration are still suitable candidates for Laser Eye Surgery, but it is only able to focus your vision to a point that is similar to what your glasses or contacts prescription can achieve.

In this way, Laser Eye Surgery is not able to give you more vision focusing power than glasses can achieve on their own.

Given the potential of Laser Eye Surgery to help people with many visual conditions and impairments, this can seem a bit of a blow to hear. However, Laser Eye Surgery should not be ruled out just yet, as although AMD is out of its reach, it can still improve your life in many other ways.

If you have a question about macular degeneration or are wondering if you may be suitable for Laser Eye Surgery, drop it in the comments below or why not have a chat with one of our friendly clinic coordinators today.

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Can I Have Laser Eye Surgery If I Have Macular Degeneration? [video]

  1. Ronna Schamerhorn 14/01/2020 at 03:19

    Hi, I am a 61 yr old woman with macular degeneration and I also have Sjogren’s Syndrome. Would I be a candidate for laser eye surgery?? I would love to be able to leave off the glasses.

    • Chloe Lay 05/03/2020 at 12:17

      Hi Ronna,
      Although we have previously treated patients with Sjogren’s syndrome, it depends on the severity of your symptoms as to whether you would be suitable. Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition therefore we need to know the status of the condition- so we would need various tests and a possible referral to an inflammatory specialist may be required.
      If you wish to discuss further, please call us on 020 7224 1005.
      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

  2. Sharon DeForrest 15/01/2020 at 20:34

    I had cataract surgery and after my right eye in certain
    light has a blur. I had good distance vision in my right eye before surgery. I wanted Laser surgery to bring back my distance and hopefully take away this blur. My Macular
    degeneration is medium and dry. At present I have 20/20 vision is what they are telling me. Small print I still need glasses.
    Question: Did my Laser I had 14 yrs. ago for reading have
    anything to do with getting the macular. I also smoked for many years, but my Mother also had Macular Degeneration. I do not understand why in the last couple years with eye exams no Dr. said anything about having
    the Macular until I had cateract surgery and asked for Laser? It just did not develop in the last year.

    • Chloe Lay 12/03/2020 at 10:50

      Hi Sharon,
      Macular degeneration is not connected with laser surgery or cataract surgery. Smoking and family history are risk factors for macular degeneration.
      Best wishes,
      London Vision Clinic

  3. Nathalie Villedo 22/01/2020 at 11:31

    Hello..I have macula degeneration due to a car accident.I am having avastin eye question is can I still have laser eye surgery.I also have astigmatism and wear glasses.

    • Chloe Lay 05/03/2020 at 12:04

      Hi Nathalie,
      If you have Macular Degeneration it is possible to have Laser Eye Surgery. We are also able to treat astigmatism.
      We recommend calling to speak with our team on 020 7224 1005 to find out more information for your eyes on 020 7224 1005.

      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

  4. Fernando Gonzalez 05/02/2020 at 19:18

    My father suffers from a dry macular degeneration .Just would like to know if can be candidate to laser surgery and after all it will help his vision.

    • Chloe Lay 05/03/2020 at 11:45

      Hi Fernando,
      Macular Degeneration is not a contraindication to Laser Eye Surgery so this alone shouldn’t make him unsuitable. He will, of course, need to speak to a Patient Care Coordinator to determine other initial screening factors before attending an initial consultation where many texts are carried out.
      We hope this helps.
      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

  5. Adrianne Leijerstam 11/03/2020 at 17:42

    In 2014 I had three Lucentis injections for wet macular degeneration. The following year things had stabilised and I was discharged. Now in 2020 I am wondering if I can have laser treatment to avoid wearing glasses.
    The last prescription I could find is below
    R +2.25 -0.25 35.0 +2.25
    L +2.25 -0.25 75.0 +2.25

    • Chloe Lay 16/03/2020 at 10:35

      Hi Adrianne,
      If you have macular degeneration and damaged vision due to this, you might still be suitable for laser eye surgery correction. You would need to come for a full screening appointment to determine this. It is worth noting that the treatment could only achieve vision you are able to attain through wearing glasses. It would not treat/improve any issues caused by macular degeneration.
      If you want to enquire, please call our team on 020 7724 1005.

      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

  6. Eddie French 30/03/2020 at 12:24

    I have moderate ARM,cataracts and astigmatism. After cataract surgery will lazar surgery to correct astigmatism be beneficial?

    • Chloe Lay 04/05/2020 at 11:07

      Dear Eddie,
      If you have Age-Related Macular Degeneration, it is possible to have Laser Eye Surgery although this does not specifically treat the effects of AMD on your vision. It would only address the prescription you have (astigmatism). We would need to fully assess your eyes to determine your suitability for surgery before advising if this will be an option.
      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

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