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Recent Study Shows People Who Have Cataract Surgery Live Longer

by Dr. Shofner

Renowned Eye Surgeon Dr. Stewart Shofner Support the Findings

Mon, Sep 16th 2013 09:00 am
Nashville, TN

According to a recent study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), people who undergo cataract vision correction surgery actually live longer than those who don't. "We think it has something to do with an improved lifestyle which results from better vision," says Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center in Nashville, TN.

"In addition to this recent study which indicates that people who have had cataract surgery are living longer, another study has suggested that cataract surgery can reduce hip-fracture risks in seniors," says Dr. Shofner. " Our patients have said they are able to enjoy driving again, playing sports, reading, and doing other activities they were uncomfortable doing prior to cataract removal surgery. Dr. Shofner adds, "The most recent study suggests that people who have had the surgery tend to be more active, optimistic, and have greater confidence needed to live independently."

Aussies Vs. Americans
The report was driven by an Australian companion study published this month in Ophthalmology, the journal of the AAO. After comparing the two groups, researchers found a 40 percent lower long-term mortality risk in those who had the surgery. The Blue Mountains Eye Study gathered the data and composed a population-based cohort study of vision and common eye diseases in an older Australian population. The report showed "a total of 354 persons aged 49 years and older and diagnosed with cataract-related vision impairment - some of whom had undergone surgery and others who had not - were assessed between 1992 and 2007." The study also made adjustments to consider age and gender as well as a number of mortality risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, body mass index and measures of frailty and comorbid disease.

Statistics report Australians on average, live longer than Americans. The US is ranked #49, while Australia ranks #9 with a life expectancy of 81.8 years of age. Life expectancy at birth is also a measure of overall quality of life in a country and summarizes the mortality at all ages. "While the Blue Mountains Eye Study only gathered data from Australians, I believe the same positive outcome could also be proven for Americans," says Dr. Shofner. He continues by adding, "improvements in a patient's lifestyle and overall well-being are common after vision correction surgery." It appears these vision improvements extend one's longevity.

About Cataracts
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. It can be compared to a window that is frosted or yellowed. How quickly the cataract develops varies among individuals and may even be different between the two eyes. Most age-related cataracts progress gradually over a period of years. Other cataracts, especially in younger people and people with diabetes, may progress rapidly over a short time. It is not possible to predict exactly how fast cataracts will develop any given person. Other than age, genetics, diabetes, radiation, and medication may also cause cataracts.

New Cataract Procedures
Cataract surgery is the only way a cataract can be removed. Cataract surgery is the safest, most commonly performed procedure in the U.S. An eye surgeon uses a microscope to look at the eye. A small cut is made in the eye and the lens is removed. Dependent upon the type of cataract, removal may include: using special tools and suction, phacoemulsification or ultrasonic energy/sound waves, or the newest method involving the use of lasers to make a more precise cut. A man-made lens, called an artificial intraocular lens (IOL), is usually placed into the eye next. Typically covered by insurance, cataract surgery allows immediate vision improvement for up close and distance vision without glasses by using Intraocular lenses like Crystalens.

About Shofner Vision Center
Dr. Stewart Shofner at Shofner Vision Center, Nashville, TN specializes in Cataract Vision Correction Surgery. Dr. Shofner has performed over 10,000 cataract surgeries in Nashville/Middle Tennessee area. Dr. Shofner recommends anyone experiencing early cataract symptoms or vision impairment should contact their local ophthalmologist or contact Shofner Vision Center for a "No Fear - No Pressure" exam to determine if cataract vision correction surgery is appropriate for vision improvement.

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