Can You Do LASIK If You Have Cataracts to Fix It?

June 21, 2024

LASIK surgery is not an eye condition. LASIK, or Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, is a popular refractive surgery used to correct nearsightedness, astigmatism and in some instances monovision treatment (one eye to see at distance and one eye to see at near) for correcting reading problem also known as presbyopia. On the other hand, cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, leading to blurry vision and eventual vision loss if left untreated. 

With the obvious differences of conditions as factors, can one actually undergo LASIK if they have cataracts? That’s what we are about to investigate further as we delve into this question and explore the options available!

What are LASIK surgery and Cataract Surgery? 

LASIK surgery is a procedure where a laser is used to reshape the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, to improve vision. It is typically recommended for individuals with refractive errors who want to be free from glasses or contact lenses. On the contrary, cataracts develop gradually over time, usually due to aging, but can also be caused by factors like genetics, diabetes, or prolonged exposure to UV radiation and many others factors. Cataracts result in a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, leading to blurred or dimmed vision.

LASIK surgery involves creating a thin flap in the cornea, which is then lifted to allow the laser to reshape the underlying tissue. This reshaping corrects the refractive error, improving vision. The flap is then repositioned, and the eye typically heals rapidly without the need for stitches. LASIK is known for its quick recovery time and high success rates.

Cataract surgery, on the other hand, involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). During the procedure, a small incision is made in the eye, and the cloudy lens is broken up using ultrasound technology and removed. The IOL is then inserted to restore clear vision. Cataract surgery is highly effective and is one of the most commonly performed surgeries worldwide.

Can LASIK Fix Cataracts and Should You Have LASIK Surgery If You Have Cataracts? 

The answer to this question depends on various factors, including the severity of your cataracts and your overall eye health. In general, if you have cataracts that significantly impair your vision, LASIK surgery may not be the best option. Cataracts cause blurry vision by clouding the lens of the eye, whereas LASIK corrects refractive errors by reshaping the cornea. Therefore, undergoing LASIK surgery will not address the underlying cause of your vision problems if you have cataracts.

Furthermore, individuals with cataracts may experience fluctuations in their vision as the cataracts progress, making it difficult to achieve stable and predictable results with LASIK. Additionally, cataracts can affect the accuracy of preoperative measurements, which are crucial for determining the appropriate treatment plan for LASIK surgery. As a result, your eye doctor may recommend delaying LASIK until after cataract surgery has been performed and your vision has stabilized.

What Is the Best Treatment for Cataracts? 

The best treatment for cataracts is cataract eye surgery. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure that can significantly improve vision and quality of life for individuals with cataracts. After a thorough cataract eye exam was done, you can schedule an outpatient procedure in which during the surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens, restoring clear vision. Cataract surgery typically has a quick recovery time.

There are several types of intraocular lenses (IOLs) available for cataract surgery, including monofocal lenses, multifocal lenses, and toric lenses. Your surgeon will help you choose the most appropriate IOL based on your individual needs, lifestyle and your eye health condition.

Reading through all the above, it is clear that LASIK surgery is not recommended for individuals with cataracts as it does not address the underlying cause of vision impairment. Cataract surgery remains the best treatment option for cataracts, providing significant improvements in vision and quality of life for those affected by this common eye condition.

LASIK surgery and cataracts are two distinct eye conditions that require different treatment approaches. While LASIK is effective for correcting refractive errors, it is not suitable for individuals with cataracts. Cataract surgery is the recommended treatment for cataracts and offers significant improvements in vision and quality of life. If you are considering LASIK surgery but have cataracts, it is essential to consult with one of the best eye doctors in Malaysia to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.


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