Benefits of Cataract Surgery
It is a well-known fact that removing cataracts improves visual functioning.
Current research is now revealing that sight improving cataract surgery adds benefits that enhance a patient's quality of life in a variety of ways.
A study based in the United States, revealed that in addition to visual improvement, there was a significant reduction in the rate of hip fractures occurring in patients undergoing cataract surgery. The data also revealed that the worse the cataract was at the time of removal, the greater the reduction was in the rate of hip fractures. Furthermore, the greatest reduction in the rate of hip fractures was seen in patients in their 80's. This evidence makes a strong argument that advanced age should not be a barrier to modern day cataract surgery.
A recent Australian study found that there was a significant reduction in car accidents in patients undergoing cataract surgery versus patients who waited to have the surgery. The cost savings of this lower incidence of car crashes was estimated to be in the millions of dollars. This study highlighted the wide range of benefits of improved driver safety in older patients that have undergone cataract surgery.
Additional information was found in a French study that supports the benefits of cataract surgery. The study involved patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and advanced cataracts that underwent surgery. Results showed that the patients exhibited significant improvement in various aspects of their overall health that included cognitive functioning, sleep behaviors and relief of depression.
A new study to observe the effects of cataract surgery on Alzheimer's patients is just beginning in the United States. It seeks to confirm the same benefits occurring in these patients after cataract surgery, similar to what was found in the French study.
It is evident from these studies that the effects of cataract surgery are not only seen in the "eye of the beholder" through visual improvement, but also in benefits to other important aspects of the patient’s life and, more specifically overall health.