Does cataract surgery make you live longer?

Posted by: Kevin Waltz, OD, MD on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 12:00:00 am

A recent article published in the journal Ophthalmology demonstrated that well-done cataract surgery improves more than just a patient's vision. The Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) is a long running study of thousands of older people in a specific region in Australia. A portion of this group, consisting of 354 patients, 49 years and older, with cataracts and visual impairment were evaluated and followed for 10 years. People in the group who had cataract surgery and achieved visual impairment were compared to people who did not receive cataract surgery (and remained visually impaired). On average, those people who had cataract surgery lived about 40% longer than those patients who did not have cataract surgery. This is another in a growing body of evidence that well-done cataract surgery not only improves a patient's vision, it actually increases the number of years they can expect to live.