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Comment & Response
March 28, 2019

Association of Cataract Surgery With Driving Safety and Falls

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2Vancouver General Hospital, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(5):585. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.0379

To the Editor Cataracts are a leading cause of reversible vision impairment worldwide, and age-associated decline in visual acuity has been associated with increased risk for car crashes and falls.1 A recent, methodologically strong, population-based study2 has found that the rate of serious car crashes decreased by 9% after cataract surgery. The researchers2 evaluated 559 546 patients who had cataract surgery in at least 1 eye. The association between cataract surgery and crash involvement has been previously reported by Owsley et al.1 This study found that patients with cataract who underwent cataract surgery experienced only half the crash risk compared with patients with similar conditions who did not undergo surgery. An Australian study3 based on similar linked administrative data also found cataract surgery is effective in reducing car crashes. The reduction in crash risk associated with cataract surgery lends support for consideration of cataract surgery prioritization for drivers older than 65 years.