New research suggests that cataract surgery may not only improve quality of life, but also extend a person’s lifespan. This discovery has the potential to affect many people, as more than half of all adults ages 80 and over have cataracts or have had cataract surgery.
Read on as the team at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons explains what you should know about this research.
Recent Research Suggests Cataract Patients Live Longer
A team from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, conducted a 20-year study of 74,044 women, all of whom had cataracts. The team found that there was a 60 percent lower risk of death among the 41,735 that had cataract surgery.
What struck the team was that the women that underwent cataract surgery were sicker to begin with than the women that didn’t have cataract surgery. They had more instances of health problems including heart attacks, peptic ulcers, glaucoma and chronic pulmonary disease than the women that didn’t have their cataracts removed.
Why Cataract Surgery Helps Increase Lifespan
Although the study does not prove that cataract surgery can extend someone’s life span, researchers and eye doctors believe the evidence points in this direction, for a few reasons.
Vision is essential to daily functions such as taking medication, exercising and attending doctor appointments. When vision is decreased, it is harder to follow healthy habits that are necessary to overall wellness.
Removing cataracts and replacing the lens with an IOL resolves the symptoms of cataracts, which include blurry vision, reduced color contrast and difficulty driving at night. Clearer vision after cataract surgery makes it more likely that a person:
- Exercises and stays active
- Goes to see the doctor more frequently
- Has a lower risk of medication mix-ups
- Has a lower risk of a serious falls or fractures
- Is able to drive safely and avoid motor vehicle accidents
- Enjoys an improved quality of life with more motivation to live healthfully
More research is needed to investigate the cause-and-effect relationship of cataract surgery and mortality.
Schedule a Cataract Evaluation
If you are experiencing the early symptoms of cataracts, such as blurry or hazy vision, reduced color contrast or difficulty driving at night, we would like to discuss your surgical treatment options with you. Please contact Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons today to request an appointment.