Can cataract patients undergo Lasik surgery ?

Can cataract patients undergo Lasik surgery, and how suitable is it ?

“ I have cataract , can I undergo Lasik surgery? Is it suitable?” this is a very common question that Dr Ashraf Soliman gets asked on a daily basis at his clinic from various patients. In the following article we will highlight some of the details about the two surgeries and the relationship between them. In reality, Lasik surgery and cataract surgery are completely different surgeries,  both aim at improving visual acuity, and are common in the population, although both work on different parts of the refractive lens systems of the eye.

What is the main difference between Lasik and cataract surgery?

Lasik surgery works on correcting the errors of refraction such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism at the level of the cornea through changing its shape and curvature. It will not have any effect on lens opacities, nor will mild and peripheral opacities affect the net visual results of Lasik, but the patient must be told that cataracts or lens opacities are a progressive condition, which will have an effect on vision sooner or later, and will require removal of the lens opacity and its replacement by an intraocular lens. Therefore, if a patient has a cataract, if Lasik is performed, he or she will have to undergo two surgeries instead of one.

On the other hand, cataract surgery improves visual acuity through removal of the lens opacities through a tiny corneal incision, and the lens is replaced by a clear intraocular lens. These lens opacities occur most commonly due to advanced age, and other reasons. In this surgery, not much change is seen at the corneal level. Sometimes cataracts can advance after Lasik surgery, which is why most doctors do not recommend Lasik surgery for patients with cataracts. 

Are there exceptions to this rule?

Yes there exceptions to this rule, if the cataract are in the early stages and in peripheral part, and if the visual acuity is stable and has not been affected , then Lasik can be done, but this also carries the risk of progression of the cataract over a shorter period of time. 

Dr Ashraf Soliman’s sincere advice

Dr. Ashraf Soliman always tells his patients that if you already underwent cataract surgery, it is possible to undergo refractive surgery, and more specifically Lasik, through proper examination and diagnosis for the needs and visual requirements of each patient. Also if the condition of the eye allows for such surgery.

What causes cataract?

Our lenses naturally contain a well balanced mixed of clear soluble proteins and water. When an imbalance occurs between these two elements or another substance is introduced to the interior of the lens this results in disruption of the delicate structures. The proteins begin to become insoluble, opacify, and cluster together. Some of the factors below are implicated in the development of a cataract but the exact cause is unknown.  

  1. Ageing: our lens continues to grow throughout our lifetime and certain changes occur within its structure making it more opaque with time.
  2. Exposure to ultraviolet light or infrared light.
  3. Congenital cataract: some children are born with certain opacities in their lenses, which sometimes maybe associated with other diseases or factors occurring in pregnancy. 
  4. Certain diseases like diabetes cause the development of cataract
  5. Certain medications like prolonged intake of steroids.
  6. Trauma to the eye
  7. Smoking and alcohol intake.
  8. High blood pressure and obesity
  9. Genetic and hereditary factors

What are the symptoms of cataract?

These differ from person to person, and depend on the density and location of the cataract itself within the lens. It may start as a mild blurring of vision, but with the increased lens protein opacity symptoms worsen. The main symptoms are :

  1. Frequent change in reading glasses or poor reading vision.
  2. Blurred distant vision or double vision
  3. Haloes around lights especially at night  
  4. A feeling that the person is looking through ground glass or steam.
  5. A desaturation or pallor pf previously bright colors
  6. Increase short sightedness especially in the elderly population. 

If you are looking for an ophthalmologist or eye doctor in the fifth settle or Heliopolis areas then search no  more! Optimistic ophthalmology clinics, under the leadership of  Prof Dr. Ashraf Soliman,  offer treatment of cataracts, errors of refraction through latest technologies in  refractive surgeries and Lasik and other procedures to give the best visual results for those seeking to get rid of their glasses or contact lenses.

Dr. Ashraf Soliman is a consultant of corneal and laser refractive surgeries, cataract surgeries and glaucoma surgeries in Egypt.

عن الطبيب

أستاذ طب و جراحة العيون م. طب عين شمس أستشاري جراحات تصحيح عيوب الابصار و المياه البيضاء و القرنية عضو الجمعية الامريكية لعلاج العيون و تصحيح العيون بالليزر زميل المجلس العالمي لجراحة و طب العيون زميل الكلية الملكية لطب و جراحات العيون بأنجلترا

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About the doctor

A consultant specializing in corneal, cataract and Glaucoma Surgery and Refractive surgery in Egypt, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology – Ain Shams University, Consultant cornea, cataract, and Glaucoma Surgery and Refractive Surgery, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, UK.

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