Change in visual acuity associated with cataract surgery. The Beaver Dam Eye Study.

Kleins Lab // Publications // Nov 01 1996

PubMed ID: 8942863

Author(s): Klein BE, Klein R, Moss SE. Change in visual acuity associated with cataract surgery. The Beaver Dam Eye Study. Ophthalmology. 1996 Nov;103(11):1727-31.

Journal: Ophthalmology, Volume 103, Issue 11, Nov 1996

PURPOSE Cataract is the most common age-related eye disease in most countries worldwide. However, unlike many age-related eye diseases, therapy, in the form of cataract surgery, is successful in restoring at least some function in the vast majority of patients. The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate the change in vision related to specific kinds of cataract and cataract surgery in a population-based study in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

METHODS The data are derived from the Beaver Dam Eye Study, a population-based incidence study of age-related eye disease. Participants were seen for their baseline evaluation (n = 4926) between March 1, 1988, and September 14, 1990, and for a follow-up examination (n = 3684) an average of 4.8 years later. All examinations, interviews, lens photography, and grading were performed using standard protocols. The age range was 43 to 84 years at the census preceding the baseline examination.

RESULTS For those with no cataract at baseline and without cataract surgery at follow-up, there was an average decline of 0.5 letters (on a logMAR scale) in the right eye by the follow-up examination. In persons with any cataract at baseline and without cataract surgery at follow-up, there was a decrease of four letters. When cataract surgery was done in the interval, it was associated with a significant (P < 0.0001) nine-letter (2-line) improvement in visual acuity.

CONCLUSION Cataract surgery in this population was associated with a significant improvement in visual acuity. It is appropriate to evaluate visual acuity, cataract, and visual needs in planning for eye care in aging populations.