As reported by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Americans over the age of 65 are living longer and with fewer disabilities.
Cataract surgery may help you live longer.
These findings are identified in an economic research study which identified certain medical conditions which improved healthy life expectancy. The study found that treatments for heart disease and vision (cataract surgery) improve life expectancy and quality of life.
It’s no surprise that cataract surgery can improve our vision thus allowing us to work longer and drive more safely.
The study cited other examples perhaps not as obvious. Patients who had cataract surgery were compared to those who had cataracts but declined to have surgery. The group who did have cataract surgery had fewer falls leading to a broken hip compared to the comparison group.
As was reported by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cataract surgery was associated with a 16% decrease in hip fractures. Moreover, those patients who had severe cataracts and had surgery were noted to have a 23% decrease in hip fractures.
Other studies have noted similar findings with car crashes. Those who have undergone cataract surgery have fewer car crashes compared to those not having cataract surgery.
In the same AAO report cited above, an Australian research group found that patients having the “first eye” surgery had 13 percent fewer car accidents. The cost savings to the society are not insignificant.
A U.S. study found a 50% reduction in car crashes. This study also found that as this cohort (study group) aged there was a 27% increase in accidents. Those who never had cataract surgery experienced a 75% increase.
What Does This Mean?
The improvements in vision allow us to live safer and lengthen our ability to work. This translates into tremendous cost savings.
There are tremendous cost savings to our society by making us healthier e.g. fewer hip fractures from falls, fewer crashes from improved vision and increasing our productive work years.
The point of the study; however, is to point out that cataracts slowly decrease your vision and most patients are unaware they have compromised sight.
Get your eyes examined regularly.