Cataract Surgery Reduces Risk of Hip Injuries
Most of us have heard the expression, “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.” But we may not have thought of our hips and our eyesight being related in any way. In fact, seniors who have cataract surgery to improve their vision have a proven reduction in the risk of a hip fracture.
As doctors and researchers invest time and money in determining ways to improve the quality of life for seniors, they are discovering surprising corollaries between general health and a senior’s independence. Improved vision is one way to improve a senior’s quality of life, help them age-in-place longer, and increase their independence.
Cataract Surgery and Hip Fractures: The Study
A study of Medicare beneficiaries compared the incidence of hip fractures in 400,000 patients who underwent cataract surgery with hip fractures in a similar sized group of patients who had cataracts but did not have surgery.
Patients who had the surgery had a 16 percent less chance of suffering a hip fracture within one year of cataract replacement surgery. This percentage increased even more in patients in their 80s.
Although the study did not explore other fractures caused by falls, it stands to reason that the risk of other injuries could also be significantly reduced as a result of improved vision when cataracts are treated with surgery.
Cataract Surgery and Quality of Life
In another study sponsored by AARP and vision care product specialist Alcon, 62 percent of people who undergo cataract surgery say they’re enjoying life more following surgery. In many cases, patients didn’t even realize their vision loss was interfering with their daily activities until they start enjoying 20/20 or better vision after surgery.
Advancements Make Cataract Surgery Easier
Cataract surgery today is a safe, outpatient procedure that requires just a few days for the eye to heal before you can resume normal activity. It can be done on people of any age, and on cataracts in any stage of development. A cataract does not have to “ripen,” or become fully mature, covering the entire lens of the eye, before surgery.
Cataracts are caused when protein deposits form on the lens of the eye, blocking light and distorting vision. Colors may seem dull, or you may see halos around lights. If cataracts are affecting your ability to drive, read, watch TV or look at a computer, it may be time to consider surgery.
As we age, cataracts may harden and become more difficult to remove through surgery although, in general, 95 percent of all cataract replacement surgeries are successful, with minimal risks of side effects.
If an outpatient surgery can reduce the risk of a significant injury and potential hospitalization or loss of independence caused by a fall, isn’t it worth it?
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