Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed today. Both safe and effective, cataract removal can often provide people with the clearest eyesight they have ever experienced. In addition, new research finds that cataract surgery could offer an unexpected benefit: a reduced risk of developing dementia.
Cataract Surgery Lowers Dementia Risk by 30 Percent
The Adult Changes in Thought study observed 5,000 patients over age 65. Based on data from 3,000 participants, the research team discovered that patients who had cataract surgery experienced a 30 percent lower risk of developing dementia than patients who did not have cataract surgery. Additionally, they found the reduced risk of dementia lasted at least ten years after surgery.
"This is really exciting because no other medical intervention has shown such a strong association with lessening dementia risk in older individuals," said Cecilia S Lee, M.D., associate professor and Klorfine Family Endowed Chair in ophthalmology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and the lead researcher for the study (Medical Xpress).
Other Health Benefits of Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery can offer many other health benefits besides a lower risk for dementia.
- Reduced risk for falls and fractures. Poor vision is a common cause of falling. A 2012 study found cataract surgery reduced the risk for hip fractures in the elderly by 23 percent.
- Improved night vision and driving safety. One study used driving simulators to evaluate patients' night vision who underwent first and second cataract surgery. After a first surgery, near-misses and collisions dropped by 35 percent. After the second cataract surgery, numbers decreased to 48 percent.
- Better quality of life. Cataract removal can improve quality of life as well. Loss of vision can contribute to isolation and depression, but cataract surgery can help people maintain independence and resume the activities they enjoy.
Find an Ophthalmologist Near You
Cataract surgery offers so many benefits for your vision and overall health. Make clear vision a top priority this year by making an appointment with your ophthalmologist.
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