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Better Vision = Safer, Healthier Life

Better Vision = Safer, Healthier Life

Study investigates association between cataract surgery and lower risks of osteoporosis and fractures in seniors

When South Florida retired teacher Blair decided it was time for cataract surgery, she knew exactly where to go. “I’ve been a longtime patient at Frantz EyeCare,” she said. “I’ve gotten my glasses and contacts here for years.”

Blair chose a premium lens implant to replace her cloudy lens that was removed during the outpatient procedure. Within days, the avid seamstress was threading a needle like a pro and even read an entire book without glasses! “I feel like a little kid receiving candy,” she said of her visual outcome after cataract surgery.

“Having vision this good as a senior citizen such a joy,” she added. “I am amazed. It is so much better than I ever expected.”

That’s certainly great news. But even better, Blair’s surgery likely did much more for her than improving her cloudy vision and bringing her joy. According to the results from a new large-scale study, it may also safeguard her from developing osteoporosis and bone fractures.

A new Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study evaluated the potential impacts of cataracts and cataract surgery on the risks of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Researchers followed 57,972 cataract patients who were matched to 57,972 individuals who did not have cataracts. The study spanned 6.4 years, and throughout that time, 17,450 patients developed osteoporosis or fractures in the cataract group compared to 12,627 in the non-cataract group. What does that mean?

The diagnosis of cataracts was associated with a 29% increased risk of developing osteoporosis or fracture.

But here’s the really great news for folks with cataracts:

In the cataract group, patients who underwent cataract surgery had a 42% lower risk of developing osteoporosis or fracture.

Wow.

“So even though it was concluded that cataracts could raise the risk of bone fracture or osteoporosis by 29%, having cataract surgery cuts those odds nearly in half,” said Dr. Jonathan Frantz, medical director and lead cataract surgeon at Frantz EyeCare.

“As eye doctors, we need to take a holistic approach to our patients,” he added. “We know that cloudy, diminished vision can lead to falls and fractures. So to the extent that we can improve someone’s vision with cataract surgery, we can help that individual live a safer, healthier life. They can drive more safely, exercise more safely and just walk around and function more safely.”

Some people who have been diagnosed with cataracts have concerns (or even flat-out fears) about cataract surgery. Dr. Frantz enjoys putting people’s minds at ease. “Modern cataract surgery is incredibly safe and effective, with a tremendously high success rate,” said Dr. Frantz. “Complications are very rare. There is no doubt that having cataract surgery statistically improves quality of life.”

Studies like the one recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society should help people with cataracts feel even more confident about cataract surgery. “Not only can cataract surgery give people the opportunity for restored vision, but it can also contribute to a safer, healthier and longer life,” said Dr. Frantz.

Dr. Frantz is the first and most experienced surgeon in Southwest Florida to offer bladeless laser cataract surgery. According to recent data* Dr. Frantz is the #1 Cataract Surgeon in Southwest Florida. Ready to learn more about cataract surgery at Frantz EyeCare? Click here to schedule your cataract evaluation or call 239-418-0999 and speak to a Frantz EyeCare team member.

*According to AHCA data 1st quarter 2017.

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