Retinal diseases, such as Fuchs’ dystrophy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or uveitis, often co-exist with cataracts. These corneal problems can affect the effectiveness of the IOL that is implanted and negatively impact vision quality post-surgery. In some instances, cataract surgery can worsen other retinal conditions.
Cataract surgery can also be more challenging if the patient has undergone previous eye surgery for other issues, such as vitrectomy, a glaucoma shunt implantation or scleral buckling.
Cataracts and macular degeneration are common eye conditions that affect older patients and often co-exist. There have been some studies to suggest that cataract surgery can worsen macular degeneration, but most major studies have found no link. Often severe cataracts can mask the development of macular degeneration and once vision quality is improved post-cataract surgery, the patient may then notice distortion due to macular degeneration and believe it’s a result of the surgery.
Advanced macular degeneration affects the central vision and removing cataracts can greatly improve the quality of peripheral vision for patients and generally improve their quality of life.