Cataract surgery significantly reduces falls in elderly
First-eye cataract surgery was found to be associated with a 33% reduction of falls in older adults, suggesting that efficient services for early cataract management might minimize the burden of falls in this population.
In the same study, an increased risk of falls was reported with major changes and imbalance in spectacle lens power after first eye surgery.
Researchers analyzed a retrospective cohort of 329 patients who had cataract surgery over a period of 2 years in three public hospitals in Australia.
Significant improvement in vision and 33% reduction in the incidence of falls was reported after first-eye surgery. Patients who had the spherical equivalent power of their habitual spectacle lens changed by + 0.75D or more had a twofold greater incidence of falls in the postoperative period as compared with those who had less or no change in lens power. Patients with a more active life who exercised frequently made no exception.
“These findings confirm the benefit of cataract surgery in reducing the incidence of falls and indicate that this benefit might be enhanced through cautious update of spectacle lens power in the period between the first-eye and the second-eye surgery,” the authors wrote.
A change of less than 0.75 D of lens power is advisable, and shared care involving eye care providers in the period between first and second eye surgery will maximize and balance visual outcome and safety, they noted.
Long waiting times for cataract surgery and long intervals between first- and second eye surgery are common in Australian public hospitals.
“Government investment aimed at improving the ability of the public sector to provide efficient cataract surgical services might minimize the burden of falls in the older population with cataract,” they concluded. – by Michela Cimberle
Disclosure: The authors reported no conflict of interest