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Cataract Surgery May Reduce Traffic Crash Risk

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traffic crash risk, DuPage County car accident lawyer, cataract surgery, cataract surgery patientsThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that older adults are often at greater risk of being involved in a car accident than younger drivers. At the same time, there are more than 40 million adults aged 65 and older, and they rely on their ability to drive in order to remain independent. Yet, the CDC emphasizes that the risk of being hurt or killed in an accident increases with age.

One of the reasons why aging increases a person’s accident risk is diminishing eyesight. According to a recent article in Reuters, older drivers who have elective cataract surgery may decrease their chances of getting into traffic accidents.

New Study Shows Cataract Patients Who Have Surgery May Lower Their Auto Accident Risk

The Reuters article discusses a recent study reported in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology. According to the study, compared to their chances of an accident prior to surgery, drivers who had cataracts were 9 percent less likely to be involved in crashes afterwards. In order for elective cataracts surgery to be effective in reducing the rate of auto accidents, the authors of the study predict that more than 4,500 patients would need to receive the surgery each year in order to prevent a collision.

While that ratio might seem high—over 4,500 surgeries to avoid a single crash—the researchers behind the study emphasize that preventing even a single motor vehicle accident could make a difference. Surgery for cataracts could reduce the rate of auto accidents in DuPage County, throughout Chicagoland, and across the country.

Dr. Matthew Schlenker, the lead author of the study focused on the importance of preventing even a single collision: Given the mortality and societal costs from motor vehicle accidents, any decrease in these risks is welcome.

Eye Problems and Older Adult Drivers

The recent study looked at nearly 560,000 cataract surgery patients between the years 2006 and 2016. The average age of the patients was 76 years old. Prior to having surgery, 2.36 out of every 1,000 patients was involved in an auto accident. In the years after the surgery, 2.14 patients out of every 1,000 were involved in crashes. The study measured accident risk for drivers. In other words, older adult drivers who had cataract surgery were involved in fewer accidents as drivers.

While cataracts can occur at almost any age, they are most common among older adults. As the article clarifies, cataracts frequently develop with age, thus making the lens inside more opaque and decreasing the amount of light that enters the eye. In more basic terms, cataracts make it much more difficult to see clearly, especially as cataracts worsen.

Signs and symptoms of cataracts often include one or more of the following, according to the article:

  • Decrease in sharpness of vision;
  • Impairment of color vision;
  • Additional glare;
  • Less visual brightness;
  • Less contrast; and
  • Less depth perception.

After having surgery, older patients are able to see better given that their vision is improved, and thus are less likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash.

Contact a DuPage County Car Accident Attorney

If you were involved in a motor vehicle crash in Lombard, you should speak with a passionate DuPage County car accident lawyer about your case. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC today to speak with an advocate about your case.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/older_adult_drivers/index.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-cataracts-drivers-surgery/cataract-surgery-tied-to-lower-risk-of-car-crashes-idUSKBN1JO2SQ

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