What Are the Benefits to Cataract Surgery in Patients with AMD?

September 24, 2009

At the recent congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, doctors encourage taking the “risks” of performing cataract surgery in patients already diagnosed with macular degeneration.

Cataract surgery in macular degeneration patients may possibly improve visual acuity, increased color vision, improved contrast sensitivity and and increase in brightness.

There may be some risks involved, citing the Blue Mountain/Beaver Dam study, and warned of possible increased risk of worsening geographic atrophy and wet macular degeneration.

There are also possible side effects of removing the natural cataract.  Aging cataracts turns yellow and filters out blue light.  The retina would then be exposed to these potentially harmful rays; hence, the blue filter IOL.

What does this mean? It has been my experience that many patients with macular degeneration welcome any chance of improvement.  Many times I suggest operating on the worst eye, wait and then decide on the fellow.  By operating on the worst eye, the doctor and patient limit any risk.

Read the article.

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Retina Specialist




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