Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
If I'm experiencing floaters and flashes, can I still have cataract surgery?       

Answer:
Anyone with flashes and floaters should have a full dilated retinal examination to look for potential holes or tears in the retina. If this has been performed by an ophthalmologist and the retina has been deemed normal with no pathology, cataract surgery would be OK if the vision is decreased as a result of the cataract. Your ophthalmologist should be able to determine whether the cataract needs to be removed. If a tear or hole in the retina is found, a referral to a retina/vitreous specialist is necessary. One important point to remember is that the floaters will likely still persist after cataract surgery as it does not have any change or impact on the floaters, which are typically present in the vitreous cavity (back of the eye behind the cataract).

Answered by: W. Barry Lee, MD  Dr. W. Barry Lee

Categories: Eye Surgery, Cataracts

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Answered: Jan 15, 2013

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