The obvious effect of cataracts is impaired vision. Patients may not even notice that their difficulty seeing is due to cataracts until they go see their doctor for an eye exam. But once cataracts have been detected laser cataract surgery is needed to restore vision.
Unfortunately, impaired vision is not the only symptom of cataracts, although it is definitely the most well known. Studies have linked cataracts to an increased risk of depression in those who suffer from them, suggesting an interesting link between eye care and mental health care.
Another uncomfortable and potentially dangerous side effect of cataracts is dizziness and falling. Older individuals with cataract surgery often complain of feeling dizzy, and falls for senior citizens can be especially devastating. This potentially catastrophic possibility makes getting laser cataract surgery all the more important.
Laser Cataract Surgery Can Decrease Feelings of Dizziness, But Not Falling
Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), meaning an ophthalmologist’s care after performing laser cataract surgery on a patient is crucial for successful long term outcomes. Feedback from patients have shown that laser cataract surgery significantly reduces or eliminates feelings of dizziness in elderly patients. Unfortunately, there are not reduced rates of falling after laser cataract surgery as well.
A study in Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics observed the dizziness and fall rates of 287 patients. They were evaluated before getting cataract surgery and after getting cataract surgery. The number of patients who reported dizziness six months after the cataract surgery dropped from 52 percent to 38 percent.
Conversely, the rate of falls after cataract surgery only dropped by 3 percent, from 23 percent to 20 percent.
Scientists Have Pinpointed What May Be Causing the Lack of Reduction in Number of Falls
Researchers have found that the people who continue to suffer from falls are switched to multifocal lenses after cataract surgery. Multifocal lenses allow people to correct their near vision and distance vision with the same glasses instead of switching back and forth. But this can cause disorientation in wearers, and lead to an increased risk of falls in those who are already vulnerable to them. Doctors who notice a lot of unsteadiness in their patients after cataract surgery typically advise them to have two pairs of glasses – one for near vision and one for distance vision.
Ask Your Ophthalmologist About Laser Cataract Surgery
Cataracts can easily be removed with laser cataract surgery. Laser cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure meaning you can be in and out of your ophthalmologist’s office the same day. It’s a routine operation. Your ophthalmologist will make an incision in your cornea with a laser, use the laser to break up the ruined lens, remove it from your eye and then insert a brand new artificial intraocular lens.
Feeling uncertain? Stop by our Feinerman Vision office in Newport Beach, California to speak with one of our ophthalmologists. Pick up the phone and give us a call to book your laser cataract surgery consultation today.