Recently our friends at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) put out a fantastic infographic (here) which we found incredibly interesting and we thought we’d take a moment and point out some of the benefits of cataract surgery that you may not consider right away.
Cataract surgery is one of the more common medical procedures performed in the United States and the visual freedom that begins once the surgery is over should not be understated. Once the surgery is complete, there is the immediate benefit of improved sight which is why most people have cataract surgery in the first place, they simply want to be able to see again. Yet, most do not immediately think of what seeing clearly can mean as you age.
For example, for folks that have had cataract surgery, there is a 16% decrease in the odds of fracturing or breaking a hip and a 13% decrease in the odds of a car crash. This makes complete sense when you think about it. Impaired vision limits the ability to perform even the most basic tasks while improved sight leads to fewer accidents, avoidance of obstacles and obstructions and the ability to successfully navigate through daily life with a greater ease and grace.
Not surprisingly it follows naturally that visual freedom also leads to a longer healthier life. The American Academy of Ophthalmology advises that there is a 40% lower mortality rate for those that have had cataract surgery.
Another hidden benefit is that as the quality of life improves, the positive impact on society increases as well. The AAO estimates the improvement in the quality of life for people that have cataract surgery in both eyes at 36%. This again this makes sense. Members of society that are living fuller lives and involving themselves in their communities have a greater impact than those that might be hiding out in their homes for fear of having an accident or embarrassing themselves due to their visual impairment.
With, computer screens, smartphone screens, and larger lusher screens to watch programming on, visual demands have increased drastically over the past few decades. This has led to people investigating visual freedom at younger ages. While the largest age group that have cataract surgery remains those over 60, there is a significant increase in those in their forties and fifties. As a younger generation begin focusing on and correcting their vision, common corrective procedures like cataract surgery will continue to provide benefits well beyond simply improving an individual’s sight.