Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cataracts and Driving Safety

Cataract Surgery not only improves vision and quality of life for older people, but is also apparently a way to reduce the number of car crashes according to a study reported at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting in Chicago. Researchers from Curtin University and the Eye & Vision Epidemiology Research Group reviewed the records of 27,827 patients who had a Cataract removed from one eye between 1997 and 2006. Patient records were linked to the Western Australian Road Injury Database to identify those involved in a motor vehicle crash 12 months prior to and 12 months following their Cataract Surgery dates. All patients were aged 60+ years. The majority of patients involved in crashes were males aged 70-79 who lived in metropolitan areas. They found that Cataract Surgery on the first eye reduced the frequency of all crashes by 12.6%. More research is needed to further measure the reduction in crashes after the second eye has a Cataract operation and Intraocular Lens Implantation. Surgical removal of Cataract followed by implantation of intraocular lenses dramatically improves vision for most patients and this study argues that any delay in access to cataract Surgery significantly impacts not only patients' quality of life, but public safety and healthcare, and property costs.

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