Your Path :: Home > Cataract > What are the benefits of cataract surgery?

In the mid- and late 1990s, numerous medical studies were conducted to help us understand how cataract surgery affects the quality of life of older people. One study, conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, found that patients who had cataract surgery enjoyed an improvement in their quality of life, reflected in their driving skills, community activities, home activities, and mental health.

Driving and Cataract Surgery

More recent studies continue to document cataract surgery's benefits. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that older people who have cataract surgery reduce their chances of having a car accident by more than 50 percent.

In addition to greater safety, those who had cataract surgery enjoyed other benefits. People who didn't have the surgery drove much less than those who did, logging only half the number of passenger miles. This could be an indication that cataracts cause patients to limit their mobility. The study's authors note that the limitations on driving, an ability that may be needed to commute to work or an activity site, could have a significant impact on the quality of life for someone who wants to remain active.

Despite the proven benefits, many patients are reluctant to have cataract surgery. They may delay it because of a lack of family support, the need to address other chronic conditions, or the mistaken perception that cataract surgery requires a significant amount of time for recovery.

Today, most cataract operations are performed in an outpatient setting and do not require admission to a hospital. Twenty years ago, thick glasses were prescribed so that people who had cataract surgery could see. In the past two decades, however, small artificial lenses that can be implanted in the eye have been developed. These intraocular lenses (IOLs) can provide good distance vision with thin glasses or, sometimes, without glasses at all.




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