There are a number of refractive errors which tend to lower down the vision of the human eye, sometimes partially and sometimes completely. Some of the most common refractive errors are myopia, Hypermetropia, and astigmatism. Cataract and presbyopia are two vision disorders which are observed mostly in the elderly people. People above the age of 50 years have been reported with these two disorders. There are a few cases where congenital cataract is seen but in many of the cases, Cataract is due to aging.
What do we need to know about cataract?
Before discussing the surgery method for correction of Cataract, we should, at first, discuss of what cataract is actually. A cataract is basically clouding of the eye lens. This result in partial or absolute vision loss and it cannot be corrected with any kind of corrective glasses or lenses. Also, a cataract cannot be treated by the corneal refractive surgery such as LASIK eye surgery. There are a number of causes of cataract ranging from denatured lens protein (due to aging), trauma, genetics, radiations, to ill eating and drinking habits. In some of the cases, the intake of steroids is also responsible for the formation of cataract.
Can Cataract Patients be benefited with Lasik Eye Surgery?
As we have come to know about the disorder, we are to talk about the surgeries which can be effective for this. The main surgery done for cataract is the cataract surgery. In this, the eye lens which has undergone opacification is removed. The development of cataract happens due to the metabolic changes of the fibers of the crystalline lens. In a cataract surgery, the clouded crystalline lens is replaced with a new synthetic lens so as to restore the transparency of the lens. This new synthetic lens is also known as intraocular lens. LASIK is certainly not an option for the people suffering with cataract. Why it is that LASIK is not suitable for the cataract patients? The answer to this question is that LASIK is a surgery done to treat the vision disorders that are caused due to distant vision. There are several disorders which are caused due to the accommodating power of the eye lens and this is why LASIK is used. LASIK eye surgery is mostly used in the treatment of myopia, Hypermetropia, and astigmatism which are actually the distant vision disorders. The sole purpose of LASIK eye surgery is to allow people to see correctly without having to wear corrective lenses or glasses. If a person goes for LASIK for the treatment of Cataract, there wouldn’t be any results because it wouldn’t replace the clouding which has taken place in the eye lens.
How are LASIK and Cataract Surgery distinct?
Cataract surgery and LASIK eye surgery are very different from each other. In the mode of operation as well as the results associated with them, both of these are highly distinct from each other. Here is a broad differentiation of these two corrective surgeries. First of all the point is that cataract as a disorder is very different from the distant vision disorders. Myopia, Hypermetropia, presbyopia, and astigmatism happen due to the change in the shape or length of the eyeball or the cornea. In the disorders like myopia and Hypermetropia, blurred vision can be corrected with the help of corrective glasses as well as lenses of appropriate powers. There are a lot of refractive surgeries these days which can treat these distant vision disorders and LASIK laser eye surgery is one of them.
About Cataract, one thing should be known and that is, it is not a refractive disorder. And as it is not a refractive disorder, it can surely not be treated by the refractive surgeries like LASIK. So, coming back to the question if there is any similarity between LASIK and Cataract eye surgery? The answer would certainly be a no. We have understood the difference between these, at length, as to how these are different.
Method of Operating:
Cataract Surgery: There are two surgical procedures for Cataract all across the globe. One is the Phacoemulsification which is also known as Phaco. This is one of the modern surgical approaches towards treating cataract. In this, an ultrasound device is used for breaking up the cloudy lens into tiny pieces. The pieces are then removed with the help of suction through the eye. Once all the remnants of lens are removed carefully from the eye, an intraocular lens is positioned at the same place. In a few cases, the intraocular lens also known as IOL is placed in from of the iris and pupil whereas in most of the cases it is placed behind them. The incision is then closed and it is protected with a shield for the initial days of the post-operative period. Another type of cataract surgery is the extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE). This is done in the patients who have a very hard cataract or in those where Phacoemulsification isn’t possible. In this, the entire natural lens is removed leaving just the posterior capsule intact. On the place of it, an IOL is placed. A very large incision is required for this type of surgery.
LASIK Surgery: Being a refractive surgery, this is very much similar to other forms of LASER eye surgery such as PRK as well as LASEK. This surgery is done in order to reshape the cornea so as to improve the visual acuity. In this, a very thin corneal flap is generated using a fem to second laser. After this, the corneal flap is lifted and the reshaping of the cornea is done by another computer-controlled laser. Afterwards, the corneal flap is positioned back in its place. Once this is done, the light rays are able to focus much precisely which results in improved vision.
After reading both the operating methods of these two distinct surgeries, it will not be tough to regard them as different. As cataract isn’t a refractive error, it needs to be treated in a specific way. There are many surgeries for refractive errors such as CONTOURA VISION, SMILE, LASER, LASEK, LASIK, and PRK among many others. All these are just meant to treat refractive errors for different types of corneas varying in thickness. However, these are in no way designed to support treatment for cataract. It is better to opt for Phacoemulsification or ECCE for the proper treatment of Cataract.