If you had to guess something that might help women live longer, you might think of eating right, exercising regularly, keeping cholesterol levels down, belonging to a thriving social community, getting regular checkups, owning a pet, being of service, and any number of scientifically proven life-extending factors.
What you most likely wouldn’t guess is cataract surgery. (Yes, cataract surgery – a common medical procedure for correcting visual impairment that occurs when the lens of the eye become clouded.)
Over twenty-three years, researchers compiled data derived from of records of 74,044 women ages sixty-five and above who had developed cataracts. Of this population, 41,735 women had surgery to treat this condition.
Research findings from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) found that the women who had cataract surgery were 60% “less likely to die from vascular, infectious, neurological and pulmonary diseases and cancer”.
Though the reasons behind these findings are unclear, researchers speculate that successful cataract surgery extends women’s life by helping them to remain more independent (and therefore more physically active and better able to maintain social connections), as well as to function more safely (decreasing their risk of auto accidents and mitigating injurious falls related to impaired vision), all of which have scientifically established correlations with longevity.
While the study evidences certain limitations (in focusing on females and not looking at the other longevity impacting variables like systemic disease, race, class, and so forth), the immediate benefits of increased independence and safety in relation to longevity are intuitively obvious.
Further, apart from the intriguing findings on the quantity of life, cataract surgery brings remarkable benefits in the patient’s quality of life, allowing them to see clearly and vividly again, often for the first time in years.
Though eye surgery can sound scary to some people, cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed eye procedures with one of the highest rates of satisfaction. Not only is it painless, it’s routinely performed on an outpatient basis and typically takes under an hour, letting patients get back to their regular activities almost immediately, only this time, with the vision they deserve.
At OCLI, we’re your healthcare advocates and partners in helping you and those you love see the world more clearly. Contact us today and see how cataract surgery or any one of our dozens of affordable eyecare services can make all the difference in your quality of life.