Can I Get LASIK if I Have Macular Degeneration?

Middle aged woman with blonde flowing hair facing the camera and smiling indoors The month of February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. If you have poor vision and have received an AMD diagnosis, you may be wondering if LASIK surgery is still an option for vision improvement. The truth is, it depends. Although LASIK is safe to perform even when certain types of AMD are present, it may not be the best treatment option for you. Please call the Mobile, Alabama, practice of Dr. Chris Walton to learn more: 251-341-3385.

What is AMD?

This eye disease involves a damaged macula, which is the center of the retina. For Americans over 50 years of age, AMD is one of the leading causes of vision loss. AMD causes a blind spot right in the center of your vision, so it becomes difficult to drive, to recognize someone’s face and to read when you have age-related macular degeneration.

There are two types: wet and dry. Dry AMD is by far more common. In the dry type, retinal waste products accumulate beneath the retina. There, the deposits prevent nutrients from reaching the retina and cause the cells in the macula to die, which means your eyes won’t process light as well and your vision will become blurry. In the wet type, new blood vessels grow beneath and within the retina. These blood vessels tend to burst, which is what causes the loss of central vision.

LASIK is not a treatment for any type of AMD. If you are unhappy with the loss of vision and decreased quality of life you are experiencing because of this eye disease, we encourage you to call Dr. Walton or your regular eye doctor. Treatments and interventions can help you slow the vision loss and live a full, active life despite low vision.

LASIK Is Usually Not the Answer for AMD Vision Loss

If you have dry AMD, it is probably still possible to get LASIK. The question is whether LASIK is the best option for your vision and eye health. Wet AMD is a contraindication for LASIK so you will not be able to pursue the procedure if you have that type.

If you have dry AMD and want to find out more about your vision improvement options, please arrange a consultation with experienced ophthalmologist Dr. Chris Walton. Each person’s circumstance is unique, and he’ll first want to hear about your goals and review your health history, before making any recommendations.

LASIK re-shapes the cornea, thereby adjusting for the nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism you are experiencing. After LASIK, light entering the eye is focused more precisely on the retina. As you can see, this doesn’t address the root cause of age-related macular degeneration. Typical AMD treatments include:

  • Vitamins and supplements targeted at the condition
  • Anti-VEGF medication via injection
  • Changing lifestyle habits (eating healthy, exercise, smoking cessation, etc.)
  • PDT laser therapy or laser photocoagulation

These therapies help to stop the progression of AMD and improve your quality of life.

Dr. Walton is an Experienced Ophthalmologist

To schedule a LASIK consultation in Mobile, Alabama, please call the practice of Dr. Chris Walton at 251-341-3385. While he does perform LASIK routinely and the procedure is a major focus of our practice, Dr. Walton cares about finding the right procedure and treatment for each patient. Discuss AMD and your options for seeing more clearly during a one-on-one consultation.

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