According to new research from the National Bureau of Economic Research, Americans over the age of 65 are living longer. Between 1992 and 2008, healthy life expectancy at age 65 increased by 1.8 years, and two treatments contributed: better cardiac care and cataract surgery. Those who opt for cataract surgery also experienced fewer falls, injuries, and disabilities.
“Older people who have eye surgery to remove cataracts and improve their vision also significantly reduce their risk of breaking a hip in a fall, […] those in their early 80s experiencing nearly 30 percent fewer hip fractures in the first year […],” explained author Roni Caryn Rabin, The New York Times.
According to “Risk of Fractures Following Cataract Surgery in Medicare Beneficiaries,” a 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “[…] patients who had cataract surgery had lower odds of hip fracture within one year after surgery compared with patients who had not undergone cataract surgery.”
The study retroactively compared incidences of hip fracture among 410,809 cataract surgery patients between 2002 and 2009 against incidences among those who did not have surgery. Those patients who had cataracts removed sustained 16% fewer hip fractures in the year after surgery. Older patients – 80 to 84 years of age – experienced the greatest benefit: 28% fewer hip fractures.
“Our study suggests that people should never be regarded as ‘too old’ to have their cataracts removed,” explained researchers Victoria L. Tseng, MD; Fei Yu, PhD; Flora Lum, MD; and Anne L. Coleman, MD, PhD.
Most cataracts are related to aging, with more than 22 million Americans age 40 and older affected, including half of all Americans over the age of 80, according to the National Eye Institute.
In a healthy eye, the lens focuses “light onto the retina for clear vision” and “adjusts the eye’s focus, letting us see things clearly both up close and far away,” explains Gretchyn Bailey, editor in chief of Optometry Times. With a cataract, the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, which can significantly interfere with vision, leading to falls and injuries.
Fortunately, “cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective types of surgery performed in the United States today,” according to the National Eye Institute.
When a cataract has progressed to the point that it is interfering with normal, everyday functions, such as driving or reading, surgery is often the recommended course of action. Cataract surgery involves moving the lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens.
Approximately 90 percent of cataract surgery patients report better vision following the surgery
Cataract Treatment in Annapolis, Maryland
The Anne Arundel Eye Center (AAEC) is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts. A consultation with board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles will help guide you through the treatment process and help you determine the best course of action.
Dr. Boles utilizes the LenSx® Laser, the most technologically advanced option for cataract patients today, to create a cataract surgery that’s 100% unique to each patient.
Staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals, AAEC’s state-of-the-art treatment center is dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone.
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Samuel Boles, Dr. Nicole Kershner Regis, Dr. Kathryn Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010. AAEC is staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals who will help guide you on your healing journey.