Without a doubt, our eyesight plays a vital role in our balance and stability when we walk. Research shows that as a result, elderly individuals who undergo cataract surgery not only enjoy improved vision to enable them to go about their daily tasks, but also get the important added benefit of a reduced risk of hip fractures.
To come to this conclusion, researchers examined a sample of over a million Americans aged 65 or older who were diagnosed with a cataract between 2002 and 2009. Over 400,000 of them underwent cataract surgery, while the rest did not. The researchers then assessed the incidence of hip fractures, which commonly occur in seniors, with complications that can have serious repercussions on the person’s independence or even survival.
The researchers found that among the participants who had had their cataracts removed, the risk of hip fracture in the year following surgery was 16 percent lower than among those who did not have the surgery. The individuals who benefitted most from the cataract surgery were those who were the least healthy and those between the ages of 80 and 84: their risk of hip fracture in the year following surgery was cut by 30 percent.
Some people with cataracts believe they are too old or ill to have them removed. And yet it is a simple procedure performed on an out-patient basis, and it has a major impact on patients’ quality of life by improving their vision and maybe even reducing their risk of hip fracture. If you have cataracts and are a little nervous about the procedure, take the time to speak to your physician, who will be able to answer your questions.