I have an Autoimmune Disease, can I have Laser Eye Surgery?

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Your body has its own defences against bacteria and viruses, called the immune system. This is made up of a number of different types of cells that can seek and destroy any foreign invaders that get into your system. One of the main ways that these cells can find and kill these bacteria is through the use of special sticky compounds called antibodies. When bacteria get into your system, some cells called B cells are able to recognise them and produce these antibodies. These then bind to the bacteria, allowing other parts of the immune system to recognise and kill them. This process is normally controlled very well, however in some cases the body can attack its own tissue, believing it to be foreign. This is known medically as Autoimmune disease and can cause a number of different diseases. Unfortunately, sometimes the body’s immune system can be damaged, leading to a loss of these special cells that prevent you from getting an infection. This is problematic, as following surgery, bacteria are able to get into the cut. Normally you would be able to destroy these invaders, however if you have a weak immune system you can get multiple infections within the eye post surgery. This can prevent the eye from healing as well as it should following surgery. If you suffer from autoimmune disease you should speak to your ophthalmologist who will be able to explain to you whether you are suitable for the procedure or not.

This is the same case if you have ever had any form of transplant. When you receive an organ from another person, you will be required to take drugs that damp down your immune system to prevent your immune system from destroying the donated organ. If you then decide you want to have laser eye surgery, it can be difficult following the procedure as again, you will not be able to fight off any infections as well as you normally can. If you are worried about anything in this article, please consult an ophthalmologist.

Read more about the unsuitability factors for laser eye surgery.




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