Laser eye surgery has become one of the most effective surgical procedures that exists, with millions of people able to give up wearing glasses or contact lenses as result. You can have laser eye surgery at literally any age assuming there are no other medical reasons why it might not be advised.
What is most definitely the case, is that lots of the younger generations such as those in their 20s and 30s are queueing up to have laser eye surgery. At that age, the possibility of developing cataracts is minimal, but as we grow older, it increases greatly, normally after the age of 40, and especially when we reach 60 years of age.
This can lead us to a scenario where someone has had laser surgery, either recently, or a few years ago, and now, because of cataracts, they are in need of cataract surgery. The question that now arises is whether someone who has laser eye surgery can subsequently have cataract surgery?
The simple answer to the question is ‘Yes, they can’, but it is not as simple as simply signing up for the cataract operation, and there are several caveats and precautions that need to be in place first.
Before we address them, for anyone reading this who is unsure exactly what a cataract is, let us explain what the condition is. It affects the lens of the eye, and as a cataract develops, it starts to cloud the lens. Some people are more prone to them than others such as those who have myopia, and short-sighted people are more at risk than people who are long-sighted.
Whilst mentioning those at risk, it beholds us to point out that having a laser eye surgical procedure has no impact in terms of increasing the risk of developing cataracts, and therefore it should not be considered as one of the causes.
People with cataracts can have their vision impacted in various ways, and to a different extent, depending on how advanced the cataract is. Blurriness, experiencing increased dazzle from car headlights, and a change in colour perception are all primary symptoms of cataracts.
Another effect is a change in your vision in terms of prescription, and many people with cataracts find themselves having to make frequent visits to their optician in order to have different strength glasses prescribed each time.
Ultimately, and at their worst, cataracts can make an individual’s vision so poor that they struggle to see clearly even to watch television, and poor enough that it would certainly be unsafe for them to drive.
The solution is cataract surgery, which is a common procedure, and within the medical profession regarded as one of the safest surgeries available to patients.
Anyone who has laser surgery will be relieved to know that cataract surgery should not in any way be impeded, compromised, or made more difficult for the surgeon, as a result of that procedure.
It is certainly advisable that you tell the cataract surgeon that you have had laser eye surgery previously, and in most cases, it should not mean that the cataract surgery is more difficult.
Where it does have an impact is if the surgeon is implanting an intraocular lens as part of your cataract surgery, they will want to ensure that the power of that lens is calculated correctly in order to account for the laser eye surgery you had previously. Ideally, if you have your prescription details before and after the laser eye surgery, it will help the surgeon even more.