Cataract surgery makes driving 48% safer

Improved night vision and vibrancy of color post cataract surgery is well known among patients. A new study conducted by a team of researchers of University of Western Australia quantifies the improved quality of vision after a cataract operation. The study claims that near misses and crashes were reduced by 48 percent after the surgery.

Cataract is a common consequence of aging. Study determines by the age of 80, about half of us would have developed cataract. People witness cataract when the clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy.

With the help of cataract surgery the cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial lens. Experts determine the surgery is fast, in addition to being effective and low-risk. Not all however immediately undergo a cataract surgery, the decision depends upon how much the cataract is affecting with daily activities.

Ophthalmologists usually operate only on one eye at a time. Most of the people benefit from surgery on the second eye. After the surgery, vision becomes crispier and driving and reading becomes easier.

In order to understand the advantages of cataract surgery the researchers tested the driving performance of 44 patients before they underwent a cataract surgery. Reports allege, the driving stimulator examined several variables such as traffic densities, pedestrian crossings, uncontrolled intersections and adjusted speed limits. The participants undertook the driving stimulator before the surgery of the first as well as after the second eye was operated.

Results concluded misses and crashed reduced by 35 percent after the first surgery and dropped to 48 percent after the second surgery.

According to Dr. Ng quality of vision, along with visual acuity was an important indicator of how well one saw the eye chart.

“In Australia and other countries, people may often wait months to receive government funded surgery after a cataract is diagnosed,” explained Dr. Ng. “These results highlight the importance of timely cataract surgery in maintaining safety and continued mobility and independence in older adult drivers.”