For many of us, driving is a normal part of our daily routine. We use our vehicles as transportation to and from work, frequent visits to the grocery store, and weekend getaways with family or friends. Imagine now that you’re in your sixties or seventies and your eyes are not quite what they used to be. What was sharp and in focus years prior is now cloudy and undefined, even if you wear glasses or contacts. This poses a threat to you and others sharing the roads with you and could lead to a situation that could have been avoided with a simple visit to your eye doctor.
Cataracts result in lessened visual acuity and contrast sensitivity and may increase the perception of distracting glare.
In a study done for the American Medical Association, patients between the ages of 55 and 85 years were recruited from twelve eye clinics in Alabama from October 1994 through March 1996, with 4 to 6 years of follow-up to March 1999. The main outcome was measured by police-reported motor vehicle crash occurrence involving patients who elected cataract surgery compared to those who did not through reports made available by the Alabama Department of Public Safety.
This study concluded in part that patients with cataracts that elected to have cataract surgery and intraocular lens implantation had half the rate of crash involvement during the follow-up period compared with those patients with cataracts that chose not to undergo surgery. Of course, with any study there are many variables to take into consideration, but having a cataract can significantly impair your vision and impaired vision can increase your likelihood of being involved in an accident.
Fortunately for patients, eye doctors have been treating cataracts with a high success rate for the majority of cases. Cataracts are treated through crystalline lens removal followed by intraocular lens insertion (IOL). Cataract surgery can lead to the improvement of visual acuity and contrast sensitivity as well as reducing distracting glare. This study is an example of results that may have a variety of benefits to driver safety in our society with the increased population of older drivers and the percentage of cataracts in the population older than 65 years of age.
If cataracts are impairing your vision, having cataract surgery protects not only you, but other drivers on the road as well. For yourself, for your loved ones, and for your community, schedule a cataract surgery consultation at Susskind & Almallah, Eye Associates, P.A. today to learn how your life can be safer and richer after cataract surgery.