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

Macular degeneration is a visual condition that affects millions of people worldwide. In fact, it is the leading cause of sight loss in the UK, with an estimated 600,000 people affected.

The condition is often associated with ageing (age-related macular degeneration), however, it is a genetic condition that can affect people of all ages. The most common type of macular degeneration, which involves the thinning of the retina, is known as “early” or “dry” macular degeneration.

The second type is “exudative” or “wet” macular degeneration which occurs when normal blood vessels begin to grow underneath the retina. Both types of the condition are typically associated with a person’s ability to distinguish fine details, both up close and at a distance – more specifically in their central vision.

As a result, many people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may be able to see a general object but struggle to make out the details within it; for example, making out the numbers on a clock or recognising a person’s face. This can often lead to difficulties in carrying out everyday tasks and social interactions.

Due to the disruptive nature of the condition, many patients may be left wondering if they can have Laser Eye Surgery if they have AMD. Moreover, can Laser Eye Surgery be an effective treatment option for macular degeneration? As one of the most advanced vision correction procedures available, we often need to discuss these queries in further detail.

Laser Eye Surgery and Macular Degeneration

In the video above, Mr Carp explains more about what to expect from Laser Eye Surgery if you have macular degeneration.

First and foremost, the good news is that having macular degeneration won’t necessarily make you ineligible for Laser Eye Surgery. However, it is important to note that¬†Laser Eye Surgery does not explicitly treat AMD.¬†That is to say, the effects of Laser Eye Surgery on AMD-related visual impairments are limited.

As expert Laser Eye Surgeon, Mr Carp, explains in the video above, macular degeneration affects the retina – in particular, the central retinal area known as the macula.

Macular Degeneration occurs when small deposits form in this area, causing damage to the retinal photoreceptor cells (the cells absorb light once it has been directed into the eye).

So, while patients with macular degeneration may still be suitable for Laser Eye Surgery, the procedure can only focus vision to a similar point as that achieved with glasses or contact lenses. That is, Laser Eye Surgery will not give you more vision focusing power than glasses can achieve on their own.

As Laser Eye Surgery can now 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 any other questions about macular degeneration or are wondering if you may be suitable for Laser Eye Surgery, why not have a chat with one of our friendly clinic coordinators today? Alternatively, Book a Consultation today.