Cataract surgery patients live 40% longer

The obvious benefits of cataract surgery are that it restores clear vision. There are however other benefits that you may not have known about.

1) Having cataract surgery makes you live longer

Increased longevity has been shown to be the case from a large study known as The Blue Mountains Eye Study. The investigators of this study looked at 354 patients aged 49 and over from a specific area in Australia (shown in the picture above) and compared one group who had cataract surgery, with another group who did not. They followed these particular groups for 10 years. The results showed that the people who had successful cataract surgery lived on average 40% longer than those patients who did not have cataract surgery.

There are several other lesser known benefits of cataract surgery, including:

2) Having cataract surgery makes you less likely to fall if you are over 65

This was found from a large American study of over 1 million patients who were aged over 65. The investigators compared the rate of hip fractures in over 400000 patients who underwent successful cataract surgery with rates in patients who did not. The results showed that patients who underwent cataract surgery were 16% less likely to have a hip fracture with the benefit most noticeable in older patients. If the cataracts were severe the difference in hip fractures was 23% lower in those who had cataract surgery.

3) Having cataract surgery on your second eye significantly improves your quality of life

This study reviewed 642 patients from six areas who had undergone cataract surgery. They gave cataract surgery patients a detailed visual function questionnaire and scored their quality of life. They showed that quality of life was better in patients who had their second eye cataract surgery compared to those patients who had just had their first eye done. This study suggests that having cataract surgery in both eyes has a significant benefit above and beyond the benefits of having just the one done.

4) Having cataract surgery may reduce your chance of having a car accident

This study looked at 227 patients with cataract from 12 clinics in the USA. The researchers compared patients who had cataract surgery to those who did not and looked at car crash reports from the police in both groups. They reported that patients who had cataract surgery had half the crash rate compared to patients who did not have cataract surgery.

5) Waiting for your cataract surgery more than 6 months may reduce your quality of life

This study from Canada looked at a large number of patients from several databases and saw that patients who had waited longer than 6 months for their cataract surgery experienced a worsening of their vision, a poorer quality of life whilst waiting and an increased rate of falls.

Photo Credit:

Jamison Valley, Blue Mountains, Australia – Nov 2008” by DiliffOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.