Cataract Surgery Can Prolong Your Life! Curious About How?
- Posted on: Dec 4 2017
According to a new study published in the New York Times, cataract surgery may do much more than just improve a patient’s poor vision.
It is now proven that it could actually give you the ability to live a longer life!
The Study: Facts
- Lasted 20 years
- Included over 74,000 women aged 65 and older who had cataracts.
What did they find?
There was a 60 percent lower risk of death among the 41,735 women who had their cataracts removed!
Cataract surgery not only gave them a better, more enjoyable life (where they could see) while living, but a longer life!
An interesting fact is that the women who had cataract surgery lived longer although, they were sicker in comparison to the others to begin with — as a group, these women had more heart attacks, chronic pulmonary disease, peptic ulcers and glaucoma than those who did not have the cataract surgery.
The patients who had cataract surgery had reduced risks of subsequent death from cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological and infectious diseases, as well as cancer and accidents.
BUT HOW & WHY?
We believe that when people can see better:
– They can actually exercise and move more as well as move “better”
– These patients may have had trouble seeing their medications and pills so they may now be more likely to take them and take the right ones!
– Cataract surgery improves a patient’s ability to see contrast, which decreases their risk of accidental deaths from driving or falling.
– Cataracts form gradually with age and our doctors always tell patients that anyone who lives long enough is likely to develop a cataract. Cataracts are the most frequent cause of vision loss in people over 40.
– Common risk factors of cataracts include:
o Exposure to UV radiation (aka sunlight)
o Family history
o High blood pressure
o Prolonged use of corticosteroids
o Extreme nearsightedness
Can I do anything to reduce the risk of cataracts?
– Wearing sunglasses (the ones that block 100 percent of UV rays)
– Wearing a hat to block sunlight
– Eating lots of foods rich in vitamin E (i.e. almonds, spinach, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, etc.)
– Eating leafy greens or foods with the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin (found in kale, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables)
– Taking omega-3 fatty acids (can be in pill form but also found in in spinach and oily fish like mackerel, salmon and sardines)
The 411 on Cataract Surgery
Did you know Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed operation in the United States?
– More than 3 million Americans have cataracts removed each year, according to the organization Prevent Blindness America.
What does the actual procedure do? The cloudy lens is removed out of the eye with a tiny instrument and an artificial lens is inserted in its place.
Major advances since the 1980s have occurred in cataract surgery:
– Patients used to need general anesthesia and sleep nights in the hospital spending weeks recovering in bed.
Now, all you need is a local anesthetic and the incisions are tinier requiring no stitches. After only around half an hour in recovery, patients can now actually go home.
Eyes can usually be taken care of 2 weeks apart and the recuperation time is fast.
– Surgeons used to wait until cataracts were “ripe” and vision had to seriously disappear before telling patients it was time for surgery; now, research has proven that the longer the surgeons wait, the more difficult of a surgery as cataracts become more dense with time and are harder to remove.
Cataract surgery is one of the most successful surgeries we know of with a 98 percent success rate.
The lenses you choose are IMPORTANT
The artificial lenses that the surgeon will use to replace your clouded lenses come in several varieties and are now geared to a patient’s specific desires and lifestyles.
For example, an avid golfer, or a runner may want a different lens than a book author.
There are lenses that correct near as well as distance vision and even lenses that shift focus on near or distant objects in response to eye muscle movements; and bifocal or progressive lenses. There are new lenses that reach the market every year.
However, once you are diagnosed with a cataract, and you are ready to get evaluated for potential surgery, most important thing in going forward is selecting the right surgeon you trust who will guide you through the process of what lenses are right for you and what to expect from your surgery.
At Slade & Baker Vision, we have the longest experience with laser cataract surgery as the first practice in the United States to perform the procedure several years ago. Our surgeons have had years of experience with different lenses and their outcomes and are here to answer any questions. Give us a call today to find out more and make an appointment at 713-626-5544
* The study’s findings were published online in JAMA Ophthalmology in October by Dr. Anne L. Coleman and colleagues at the Stein Eye Institute of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, with Dr. Victoria L. Tseng as lead author.
New York Times. Brody, Jane E. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/well/live/cataract-surgery-may-prolong-your-life.html. Published December 4, 2017. Accessed December 4, 2017.