Common Questions About Laser Eye Surgery and Cataracts
Here at London Vision Clinic, we are used to answering all manner of questions about our patients’ vision, treatment options, and other conditions relating to their eyes. We are well-placed to answer any queries regarding your eyes and refractive surgery, including some common questions about Laser Eye Surgery and Cataracts.
Cataracts are a common eye condition that is now considered a natural part of the body’s ageing process. They tend to develop in older age (in fact, around over half of people aged over 80 in the UK have cataracts); however, they can also develop in younger people.
What are Cataracts?
The natural lens in our eyes is made up mostly of water and protein. These two substances are carefully balanced to promote a strong, healthy, and clear lens that allows light to be easily directed into the eye.
As we age, this balance can be disrupted as our eyes are affected by factors such as our health and our environment. This can cause the proteins in the lens to break down and coalesce, forming a cloudy obstruction in the lens. This clouded lens is a cataract.
These cloud-like obstructions can lead to some loss in the quality o your vision. The extent to which they will affect you will depend on the stage of their development.
For example, in the early stages of cataracts, a new glasses or contact lens prescription may be sufficient to maintain your normal level of visual acuity. However, as the cataract develops and worsens, you may require surgery to remove it. If left untreated, developed cataracts can lead to severe vision loss and even blindness.
Can Laser Eye Surgery treat cataracts?
Laser Eye Surgery is an innovative treatment that is effective for a wide range of visual errors, including hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. However, it is not considered a treatment for cataracts.
In Laser Eye Surgery, high-precision lasers are used to change the shape of the cornea and so adjust the way light is reflected into the eye. This procedure allows your surgeon to correct your prescription and improve your visual acuity. But Laser Eye Surgery treatment cannot remove cataracts from the eye.
Cataract Surgery is the only way to remove cataracts. This involves replacing the eye’s natural lens, which has become clouded, with an artificial one.
Will Laser Eye Surgery increase my risk of developing cataracts?
Laser Eye Surgery will neither increase nor decrease your risk of developing cataracts when you get older. As Mr Glen Carp explains in the video below, Laser Eye Surgery is not able to change the course of nature when it comes to your eyes’ natural ageing process.
The changes made to the cornea during Laser Eye Surgery procedures are permanent. However, changes that occur after your treatment, including to the shape of your eye and the transparency of the lens, will not be deterred or hastened by Laser Eye Surgery treatment.
Can I have Laser Eye Surgery if I have cataracts?
A number of factors can affect a person’s suitability for Laser Eye Surgery; unfortunately, in some cases, cataracts can be one such factor. While patients with very, very early-stage cataracts may still be suitable for Laser Eye Surgery treatment, this is not always the case.
Furthermore, cataracts can also be associated with other health conditions, such as diabetes, which can also affect your suitability for Laser Eye Surgery treatment. Suitability is assessed on a case-by-case basis through our rigorous screening process. This helps us to ensure the safest treatment with the most optimum visual outcomes for our patients.
Can I have Cataract Surgery if I have had Laser Eye Surgery?
As mentioned above, Laser Eye Surgery will neither increase nor decrease your risk of developing cataracts. Therefore, you may find that at some point after having Laser Eye Surgery, you have developed cataracts.
Fear not – your Laser Eye Surgery treatment will not affect your suitability for Cataract Surgery. Your surgeon will be able to assess your complete ocular history and determine the best course to ensure the most successful outcome for your cataract surgery.
Can I have Cataract Surgery at London Vision Clinic?
While we specialise in Laser Eye Surgery, our carefully selected team of surgeons, ophthalmologists, and clinic coordinators have experience with a wide range of refractive treatments – including Cataract Surgery.
In fact, each of our expert cataract surgeons has been hand-picked for their expertise and enthusiasm for going the extra mile for our patients. Find out more about the London Vision Clinic Cataract Surgery team.
If you have any further questions about Laser Eye Surgery and Cataracts (or anything at all), one of our friendly clinic coordinators is always on hand to help. Alternatively, Book a Consultation, today.