“Cataract Surgery May Prolong Your Life” was a recent headline in the New York Times! In an article published on December 4, 2017, The New York Times cited a 72-year-old woman who was thrilled with her vision following cataract surgery having spent the prior 55 years of her life wearing thick glasses. The writer of the article stated that she was thrilled to relate to this patient that the surgery may have prolonged her life.
In a 20 year study of 74,004 women aged 65 years and older, all of whom had cataracts, there was a 60 percent lower risk of death among the 41,375 women who had had their cataracts removed! The findings were published online in JAMA Ophthalmology in October by Dr. Anne L. Coleman and her associates the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute at which I am a member of the faculty with an appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology. I am excited to share this study with you as it further demonstrates the miracle of cataract surgery and the advantage of proceeding with cataract surgery when clinically appropriate. Interestingly, I spend much of my day telling patients that they do NOT need to have cataract surgery. Often, as soon as a patient has been told they have cataracts present, the thing they need to have them removed. This is not the case.
Cataract surgery is recommended when the cataract interferes with activities of daily living such as reading, driving at night or simply enjoying the pleasures of life that good vision provides. If you believe your cataract is impacting your enjoyment of life, and I am unable to improve your vision satisfactorily with a change in glasses or contact lenses, then cataract surgery may be warranted. Now we also know that cataract surgery will not only improve your quality of vision but it may even extend your life! Call now to schedule your complete eye examination so that we can determine whether cataract surgery is appropriate for you!
If you would like to read the full article in the New York Times, I have provided the link to the article here.