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 worldwide.

Although often considered 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 a distance. More specifically, in your central vision.

For instance, many people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may be able to see a clock but not 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 cause many everyday tasks and activities tricky to perform and 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 it is possible to have Laser Eye Surgery if you have macular degeneration. However, the bad news is that Laser Eye Surgery does not explicitly treat AMD, so its effect on the condition and its visual impairments are 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 form within the retina and these in turn cause damage to the retinal photoreceptor cells, which absorb the light once it has focused into the eye. Patients with macular degeneration and who have damage due to macular degeneration are still suitable candidates for Laser Eye Surgery,. Still, it can only focus your vision to the point similar to what your glasses or contacts prescription can achieve.

In this way, Laser Eye Surgery cannot 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.