Does waiting time for cataract surgery increase the risk of falls?

The study analyzed data from people 65 years of age and older who were recommended for bilateral age-related cataract surgery between 2013-16, for up to 24 months after study entry, or until six months after the second eye surgery, whichever is shorter.

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss despite effective and readily available cataract surgery. Cataract-related vision impairment affects 2.7% of non-Indigenous Australians aged 50 and over. Large disparities in access to cataract surgery have been reported in Australia and other high-income countries.

Risk of falls increases between cataract surgeries

Age- and sex-adjusted fall rates before surgery were 1.17 falls per year, 0.81 per year after first eye surgery, and 0.41 per year after second eye surgery“, said Professor Lisa Keay, Dean of Optometry and Visual Sciences at the University of New South Wales, and colleagues.


For 118 second eye surgery participants and all follow-up visits, incidence adjusted for age and sex before (0.80 falls per year) and after eye surgery the first (0.81 falls per year) was similar but lower after the second. eye surgery (0.32 falls per year).

Mean binocular habitual acuity (logMAR) was 0.32 before surgery, 0.15 after first eye surgery, and 0.07 after second eye surgery.

This new study adds to the body of supporting evidence invest in timely access to cataract surgery for older adults, as it is cost-effective to improve vision and prevent falls.

The waits of significant periods of time for both first and second eye cataract surgery have been exacerbated by the postponement of elective surgery during the 2019 coronavirus outbreak and particularly affecting those live in public hospitals.

Source: Medindia

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