Fewer Car Crashes after Cataract Surgery Interview with:
Jonathon Ng MD
Clinical Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Population and Public Health
University of Western Australia What is the background for this study?

Response: This study was a part of a programme of research into cataract surgery and motor vehicle accidents spanning a decade. The older population is the fastest growing group of drivers and continuing to drive is an important part of maintaining independence. However, ageing also leads to a variety of conditions, including eye diseases such as cataract which affects vision and driving ability.

We conducted this current study to try and better understand driving performance in people having cataract surgery. This was prompted by our earlier work 10 years ago that found decreased motor vehicle accidents after cataract surgery in a study of 28,000 people using linked health and administrative data. What are the main findings?

Response: In this current work we were able to safely assess driving behaviours and performance in people both before and after cataract surgery. We found that crashes and near misses decreased 35% after first eye cataract surgery and 48% after second eye surgery. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Cataract surgery improves both vision which driving simulator performance which appears to reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents, at least in the simulator. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: It would be good to see these results replicated in future similar studies as this would strengthen the validity of our results and enable investigation of the effects of other eye diseases on driving ability. 

No disclosures.


AAO 2019 abstract discussing cataract surgery not only improves vision and quality of life for older people, but apparently can also help reduce the number of car crashes.


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Last Updated on October 18, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD