Cataract Surgery Linked to Vision Loss

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Cataract Surgery Linked To Vision Loss

People who have had surgery to remove a cataract may be at an increased risk of suffering age-related vision loss. Results of a 5-year population-based study found that those who had undergone cataract surgery were more than twice as likely to have progression of age-related maculopathy (ARM), or signs of late ARM as those who had not undergone such surgery. ARM is a form of macular degeneration in which the retina of the eye breaks down. Like macular degeneration, ARM is an important cause of vision loss among many of the elderly.

A total of 3,684 adults between the ages of 43 and 86 were interviewed about their medical history, lifestyle and behavioral patterns, and agreed to allow investigators to examine their eyes for signs of ARM and vision loss. The group was then examined 5 years later. The data showed an increased risk of progression of ARM and incidence of late ARM in eyes that underwent cataract surgery. The relationship of cataract surgery to ARM needs further confirmation in other studies.

Archives of Ophthalmology (1998;116:506-513)

Note: Older people are at higher risk for ARM/macular degeneration, but this risk is significantly further elevated if these individuals undergo cataract surgery, very common surgery in the elderly. This is even more reason to be on a preventive program for macular degeneration and cataracts (specific antioxidants, herbal extract and phytochemicals).

Life Extension Foundation.

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