Cataract surgery has added health benefits

According to findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, cataract surgery has the added benefit of reducing hip fractures in the elderly.

Following a study that looked at 400,000 patients who had had cataract surgery, it was found that there was a 16% reduction in the rate of hip fracture after one year alone due to improvements in their vision. These numbers are highly significant, especially as it is estimated on current trends that there will be around 117,000 hip fractures per year in the UK by 2016. So anything that can help prevent this level of pain should be considered urgently, and if cataract surgery is needed – it should be taken.

It is also possible now to have both eyes corrected at the same time, which is known as ‘bilateral cataract surgery’. Senior Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Professor Charles Claoué explains what is involved in his article for totalhealth, and here is a summary:

  • Everything can be sorted in a single visit to the operating theatre.
  • There is less disturbance to your life (and less expense!).
  • The whole episode of visual rehabilitation is much shorter.
  • An intraocular lens implant is routinely put into the eye to replace the natural lens that has become a cataract.
  • New lenses depend on the patients’ needs and include aspheric, toric, multifocal, and toric/multifocal lenses.

Prof Claoué goes on to explain that "...if you wear strong lenses, whilst the idea of getting rid of them may be highly attractive, having a period when one eye sees well without glasses but not the other is a period of unhappiness. I often suggest that this imbalance is a bit like trying to walk with a high heel on one foot and a flat shoe on the other side; not a recipe for happiness! This is not a problem, of course, with bilateral simultaneous surgery."

Unfortunately, not all surgeons are happy to offer this procedure, and in some areas it is only available in private hospitals.

Has a sudden onset. Full medical glossary
On both sides of the body Full medical glossary
Loss of transparency of the lens of the eye. Full medical glossary
The treatment of a person with an illness or disability to improve their function and health. Full medical glossary
Relating to the sense of sight (vision). Full medical glossary