The treatment for refractive error with LASIK eye surgery is much different than cataract surgery to get rid of the clouding caused by the cataract in the natural lens of your eye. Our patients at Foulkes Vision often ask if they can have LASIK to correct minor cataracts. The answer is yes and no.
Technically, you can have LASIK to correct the shape of your cornea and improve your vision, but this doesn’t get rid of the cataract. The cataract will likely continue to grow until you require cataract surgery, which involves removing the clouded natural lens in your eye and replacing it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). If you choose to have LASIK when you have minor cataracts, you will eventually need another procedure to remove the cataract and insert an IOL.
Essentially, you will end up with the costs and recovery for two procedures instead of one if you have LASIK while you have a cataract. Cataract surgery is covered by health insurance whereas LASIK is considered a cosmetic, elective procedure. However, the guidelines for insurance coverage for cataract surgery are typically strict and may require your vision to become extremely worse before they are willing to pay for your procedure.
Some patients can get around this by having premium lens implants replace their natural eye lenses to both get rid of cataracts and correct common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
LASIK and cataracts do not mix, and even if you choose to have LASIK while you have minor cataracts, you will still need a subsequent surgery when your cataracts worsen.
If you have questions about LASIK or cataracts, please contact our eye doctor in Lombard today at 630-724-1400 to discuss your eye surgery options. Foulkes Vision serves clients in Lombard, Chicago and Downers Grove, Illinois.