Clearer Vision Isn’t the only Benefit of Cataract Removal
Cataract removal surgery is one of the most frequently performed ocular procedures. This surgery is intended to improve overall vision by replacing a lens that has become gradually clouded with protein with a synthetic lens on which protein accumulation will not recur. An interesting point about cataract removal is that this procedure is rather elective. In many cases, there is not an urgent need to remove a clouded lens. The choice is primarily left in the patient’s hands. Ultimately, this could be a problem. Here’s why . . .
Cataracts occur gradually, which means there is a very real risk of missing the clues that treatment is necessary. For example, a person who loves to read or perform a hobby that requires the clear vision for the concentration may slowly give up this passion as clarity decreases. Driving is another example. To drive less frequently because halos, glares, light sensitivity, and clouding make the task frustrating and frightening could lead to feelings of dissatisfaction due to loss of independence.
Research on cataract removal benefits suggests that:
- Clearer vision can extend life expectancy. This could be related to the fact that clouded lenses inhibit optimal visualization of surroundings, increasing the risk of accidents. It could be because people who can see are more likely to feel engaged in their own life, adding to emotional wellbeing. Whatever the reason, research has suggested a 40% decrease in mortality risk associated with cataracts and the removal of them.
- Cataract removal decreases the risk of falling. Falling is especially concerning for the elderly. The older we get, the more fragile bones and joints become, and a simple fall could mean a fracture that is difficult to overcome. Research on the correlation between cataracts and unexpected falls has revealed that this risk diminishes by 23% after cataract removal when clouding has become severe. When clouding is moderate, the risk of falling decreases an estimated 16%.
- Better vision translates into better quality of life. Self-reported quality of life for cataract removal patients in one study was 40% higher than cataract patients who elected not to have lens replacement.
Pasadena Eye Associates performs lens replacement using the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL, a synthetic lens that offers greater depth of focus. To learn more about lens replacement and cataract surgery, call 713-473-5715.