Can Cataract Surgery Cause Macular Degeneration?

Cataracts can develop when proteins in your eye’s natural lens suffer damage and become cloudy. Eye injuries, age, and medications like corticosteroids can increase the risk of cataracts. If you have hazy or blurred vision, cataract surgery may be an option for you.

Macular Degeneration and Cataract Surgery

Macular degeneration is an eye condition that affects the macula, which is responsible for central and sharp vision. The macula is the central part of the retina located in the back of your eye. Macular degeneration can cause the cells in the macula to break down, leading to loss of central vision.

Cataract eye surgery does not cause macular degeneration. Cataract surgery does not treat macular degeneration directly, but it can help improve vision if the patient has both macular degeneration and cataracts. This surgery can bring more light into the eye but can’t restore central vision. 

Cataract eye surgery doesn’t affect the risk of progressing existing macular degeneration. To treat or slow macular degeneration, a certified retina specialist can use laser therapy to destroy abnormal blood vessels in the eye. Photodynamic therapy, a good diet, and quitting smoking can also help reduce macular degeneration progression. 

When Is It Time To Have Cataract Eye Surgery?

The decision to have cataract surgery can depend on your health and the symptoms you are experiencing. Before scheduling your surgery, a qualified ophthalmologist will assess your eye and overall health to determine whether you are a good candidate. If you are experiencing some or all of the following symptoms, your ophthalmologist may suggest that it’s time to have cataract eye surgery:

  • Double vision: When you have cataracts, you can experience double vision because the lens of your eye is diffracting the light. Driving, especially at night, can be dangerous when you have double vision.
  • Halos: Halos can occur when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy. This clouding leads to scattered and refracted light that causes you to see a circle or a ring of light during low-light conditions or nighttime. Halos can also blur your vision.
  • Light sensitivity: Cataracts can make your eyes sensitive to bright interior lighting and sunlight. Depending on the stage of progression, your cataracts can cause you to experience mild-to-intense pain when your eyes are exposed to light.
  • Yellow hue: When you have cataracts, you may notice that your vision has developed a yellow or brown tint. With time, your yellowed vision can become increasingly poor and distorted. 
  • Frequently changing prescription lenses: If you need to change your vision prescription for contact lenses or glasses suddenly or often, you may have cataracts. Talk to your eye doctor about the possibility of undergoing cataract eye surgery. This procedure can reduce or eliminate your dependency on contact lenses or glasses. 

Types of Lenses Used in Cataract Surgery

During cataract eye surgery, an ophthalmologist replaces your natural lens with a customized intraocular lens. A professional ophthalmologist can recommend the correct type of intraocular lens based on your lifestyle, vision, and eye needs. Here are some of the lens options available for this procedure:

  • Monofocal lens: Fixed-focus mono-focal lenses feature a single-focus capability for distance vision. Accommodating mono-focal lenses can respond to eye-muscle movements and adjust their focus between distant and nearby objects.
  • Multifocal lens: This lens is designed for individuals who want clear distant, near, and intermediate vision.
  • Toric lens: This lens helps correct the vision of patients with astigmatism or misshapen corneas.

Book a Consultation for Cataract Surgery Today

Cataract surgery can help correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia, and astigmatism. This procedure can lead to improved vision, better perception of colors, and reduced glares or halos. Schedule a cataract surgery consultation with a certified ophthalmologist who can perform an eye exam and the operation. These trained professionals use advanced technology during cataract surgery to help improve your vision and quality of life.

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