Study Reveals How Cataract Surgery Impacts Quality of Life

January 2nd, 2020
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A recent study shows how cataract surgery can greatly improve safety and overall quality of life. 

A new study presented at the American Association of Ophthalmologists (AAO) 2019 conference shows how untreated cataracts can put your safety at risk — especially behind the wheel. The research highlights a common misunderstanding about cataracts: they do not simply make your distance vision worse, as farsightedness or astigmatism would do. Instead, the condition actually makes it harder to perceive light, shapes, and colors. 

Cataract symptoms — such as decreased night vision, high photosensitivity, and the presence of light halos — can make it difficult to go about your daily life. This is especially true when it comes to driving, where the condition can have a serious impact on your safety. 

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are common among older adults. In fact, about half of all Americans will develop them before age 80. Although cataracts are usually a result of aging, they can also occur in young adults. The condition develops when protein in the lens of your eye changes its composition over time, causing the lens to become white and cloudy instead of clear. 

Though cataracts progress slowly over the years, even in the early stages they can cause light-distortion and vision problems. It’s therefore important for every aging adult to get regular checkups with an eye doctor to screen for cataract development.

Cataracts and Driving

Cataracts often develop at different rates in each of your eyes — in the early stages, it’s quite common for a cataract to be noticeable in just one lens. However, the 2019 Australian study shows that both eyes are often subject to cataract development, just at different rates. 

In the study’s driving simulator, researchers tested driving safety before and after patients’ first and second cataract surgeries. They found that, after patients had gotten cataract surgery on one eye, near-accidents fell by 35 percent. Once patients had gotten surgery on both eyes, the number of near-accidents fell an additional 13 percentage points.  

Cataract Surgery as a Solution

The only reliable way to fix cataracts is through surgery. The good news is, cataract surgery is a quick, common, and highly effective procedure. Your eye doctor will numb your eye with a local anaesthetic, then quickly remove your clouded lens and replace it with a clear one. The process only takes a few minutes, and nearly all patients experience improved vision as a result. 

If you think you might be developing cataracts, don’t wait for the condition to worsen. Contact an eye doctor today for a screening — especially if you’re beginning to feel unsteady behind the wheel. As the above study shows, cataract surgery is an effective way to potentially prevent an accident on the road. 

For patients in the Dallas Metroplex and Northeast Texas, give us a call at Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers of Texas. We offer some of the most experienced eye doctors in Texas, at highly competitive prices. Our doctors will walk you through every step of your treatment plan, so you can get back to your daily routine with better, safer vision. 

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