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Could cataract surgery protect against dementia? Here’s why and when to remove motiyabindu

Could cataract surgery protect against dementia? Here's why and when to remove motiyabindu

Dementia and cataract

Gone are the days when removing cataracts meant a lens-less eye and one depended on thick reading or long-distance glasses. Intraocular lenses that are immediately placed in the cavity made by cataract removal ensures immediate restoration of vision and with impressive clarity.

Over the last several decades, cataract surgery has become exceptionally safe and rather routine across the world. Contrary to what many of us think cataract surgery DOES NOT merely sharpen vision, but as research suggests it may keep minds sharper, too, and help prevent dementia.

Research shows a link between vision loss and dementia

Dr Robert H Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing writes that recent research has noted a link between age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, or diabetes-related eye disease and dementia. Some cases report the setting in of dementia as the person continued to lose vision over a few years without the cataract surgery.
Does the opposite (vice versa) also hold true? Could preventing or reversing vision loss reduce the risk of dementia? New evidence suggests that cataract surgery may prevent dementia. A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine presents that removing cataracts may reduce your risk for developing dementia. The researchers found that the risk of developing dementia was 29 per cent lower among people who had cataract surgery than among otherwise similar people who did not have this surgery.

Among people with glaucoma, the risk of dementia was the same whether they did or didn’t have surgery. (Of note, glaucoma surgery does not restore vision.)

What is the connection between cataract surgery and brain health?

Experts believe that reduced sensory input to the brain is detrimental to function. Sensory nerves also behave on the “use it or lose it” principle. The lesser the sensory input of any kind, the lesser the brain stimulation and, as a result, there is loss of brain function.

Probably the limitations in their visual capacity must lead some people to restrict mental and physical activity. Studies have demonstrated that limited physical activity and social engagement increase the risk of dementia. If it’s true that cataract surgery can not only improve vision but also reduce the risk of dementia.

The bottom line:

Cataracts are often called preventable blindness. Like any operation, cataract surgery has risks and benefits to consider. Your doctor will advise you and give you the opportunity to choose from several methods and types of lenses.

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