LASIK surgery – can you have LASIK surgery if you have cataracts?

LASIK surgery – more commonly known as laser eye surgery – is used to correct someone’s vision to the point where they no longer need glasses or contact lenses. However, LASIK surgery won’t correct vision loss caused by cataracts – this can only be achieved by having cataract surgery. As a result of this, generally speaking, patients with cataracts shouldn’t have LASIK surgery. 

There are, however, some exceptions to this rule. For example, people who have small but stable cataracts which aren’t having a major impact on their vision (e.g. congenital cataracts), may still be able to have LASIK surgery. If you would like LASIK surgery to correct astigmatism or long or short-sightedness, then your optician will be able to advise on whether this is a recommended course of action for you. 

If you have age-related cataracts, cataract surgery can also be used to correct astigmatism or long/short-sightedness using an intraocular lens (IOL) that will help to reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. These IOLs, however, tend to be more expensive and are not generally available on the NHS. 

It’s always a good idea to consult your optician or surgeon to help you decide what’s best for you based on your individual circumstances and eye health. 

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