Does Laser Eye Surgery Cause Cataracts?

Whether or not laser eye surgery can cause cataracts is a commonly asked question and the following helps explain how the 2 are related:
Laser eye surgery is carried out on the cornea which is the clear outer part of your eye, whereas a cataract forms within the lens which is deeper inside your eye.During laser eye surgery (Lasik or Lasek) your surgeon will not come in to contact with the natural lens inside your eye, meaning it has no way of causing a cataract to develop.
What is worth mentioning however is the fact that following your surgery your surgeon may prescribe you with steroid eye drops for a short period of time. These eye drops can theoretically cause the onset of cataracts but this is only after prolonged use of them. Given that the maximum time you will have to use the drops for the following surgery is about one month, this is not likely to be an issue.
Other points to mention about cataracts and laser eye surgery are as follows:

  • Laser eye surgery cannot treat cataracts.
  • If you already have cataracts you will not be suitable for laser eye surgery. Cataracts can blur your vision and they can also cause your prescription to change, meaning the results of surgery would not be long lasting.
  • You can have laser eye surgery if you have already had a cataract removed. If following cataract surgery you still need to wear glasses to make you see clearly then you could still be a candidate for laser eye surgery.

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