Australian researchers find a 40 percent lower mortality risk among patients who had their vision corrected through the procedure
SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 4, 2013 – People with cataract-related vision loss who have had cataract surgery to improve their sight are living longer than those with visual impairment who chose not to have the procedure, according to an Australian cohort study published this month in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. After comparing the two groups, the researchers found a 40 percent lower long-term mortality risk in those who had the surgery.
The research is drawn from data gathered in the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a population-based cohort study of vision and common eye diseases in an older Australian population. A total of 354 persons aged 49 years and older and diagnosed with cataract-related vision impairment – some of whom had undergone surgery and others who had not – were assessed between 1992 and 2007. Adjustments were made for age and gender as well as a number of mortality risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, body mass index and measures of frailty and comorbid disease. Follow-up visits took place after five and ten years since the baseline exam.
Previous research had indicated that older persons with visual impairment were likely to have greater mortality risk than their age peers with normal vision, and that cataract surgery might reduce this risk. These studies – unlike the Blue Mountains Eye Study – compared people who had undergone cataract surgery with those in the general population or with those who had not had cataract surgery, and did not link vision status to the surgical status.
“Our finding complements the previously documented associations between visual impairment and increased mortality among older persons,” said Jie Jin Wang, Ph.D., of the Westmead Millennium Institute and one of lead researchers of the study. “It suggests to ophthalmologists that correcting cataract patients’ visual impairment in their daily practice results in improved outcomes beyond that of the eye and vision, and has important impacts on general health.”
The association between correction of cataract-related visual impairment and reduced mortality risk is not clearly understood, but plausible factors may include improvements in physical and emotional well-being, optimism, greater confidence associated with independent living after vision improvement, as well as greater ability to comply with prescription medications.
Dr. Wang noted one limitation of the study is that participants with cataract-related visual impairment who did not have cataract surgery could have had other health problems that prevented them from undergoing surgery, and that these other health problems could partly explain the poorer survival among non-surgical participants. This issue is addressed by the researchers in a subsequent study.
Caused by the clouding of the lens, cataract is a leading cause of treatable visual impairment that will affect more than half of all Americans by the time they are 80 years old. Surgical removal of the opaque lens with an artificial lens implanted is a successful procedure of cataract treatment. If completing everyday tasks is difficult, cataract surgery should be discussed with an ophthalmologist − a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions.
Seniors who are seeking eye care but are concerned about cost may qualify for EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which offers eye exams and care at no out-of-pocket cost to qualifying seniors age 65 and older. Learn more at www.eyecareamerica.org. For more information on cataracts and other eye health information, visit www.geteyesmart.org.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org. The Academy’s EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.org to learn more.
Ophthalmology, the official journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, publishes original, peer-reviewed, clinically applicable research. Topics include the results of clinical trials, new diagnostic and surgical techniques, treatment methods technology assessments, translational science reviews and editorials.
Ophthalmologists Warn that Fireworks-Related Injuries Can Cause Permanent Vision Loss
American Academy of Ophthalmology and Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology urge parents to closely supervise children when around fireworks
LAS VEGAS – June 26, 2013 – As the Fourth of July holiday approaches and Americans make plans to celebrate the stars and stripes with a little red glare from celebratory rockets, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology urge the public to take important steps to prevent fireworks-related eye injuries. The academies ask parents and other adults to be especially cautious when children are in the presence of fireworks.
Of the more than 9,000 fireworks injuries that occur in the United States each year, [I]approximately 45 percent are sustained by children age 15 and under.[II] Eyes are among the most injured body parts,[III] and one in six fireworks-related eye injuries results in permanent vision loss or blindness.[IV]
All fireworks are dangerous if not properly handled; however, sparklers cause the most injury and are particularly dangerous since many children handle them on their own. Sparklers typically burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature is nearly 1,000 degrees hotter than the boiling point of water, double the heat required to burn wood, hot enough to melt glass and cause third-degree burns to the skin.[V] Out-of-control bottle rockets also cause some of the most serious eye injuries, including corneal abrasions, traumatic cataract, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and rupture of the eyeball – all of which can lead to potential blindness.
Both Academies advise the public that the best way to avoid potentially blinding injuries is to attend a professional public fireworks display instead of using consumer fireworks. For those who still decide to use legal consumer fireworks, the Academy recommends they follow these safety tips to prevent eye injuries:
- Never handle fireworks without protective eyewear and ensure that all bystanders are also wearing eye protection.
- Never let young children play with fireworks of any type. If older children are permitted to handle fireworks, ensure they are closely supervised by an adult and wear protective eyewear.
- Clear the area of flammable materials and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
- Leave the lighting of professional-grade fireworks to trained pyrotechnicians.
For those who attend professional fireworks displays and/or live in communities surrounding the shows:
- Respect safety barriers at fireworks shows.
- Do not touch unexploded display (show) fireworks; instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.
“It’s vital that the public take seriously the dangers of using consumer fireworks. If mishandled, devastating injuries can occur – particularly to the eyes,” said Adam J. Rovit, M.D., president of the Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology. “We urge parents and adults to be on high alert about these risks, especially if children are in the presence of fireworks, and take these safety measures to reduce the risk of eye injury.”
The Academy and the Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology believe these tips can help to ensure safe Independence Day observances for everyone. If, however, a fireworks-related eye injury occurs, call 911 and seek medical help immediately. These injuries typically need advanced care by an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions.
For more fireworks safety tips and additional information on how to maintain healthy vision, visit www.geteyesmart.org.
About the Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology
The mission of the Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology is to promote and advance the science and art of medical eye care. The Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology’s members are dedicated to treating and preventing eye diseases for all patients. Learn more at Nevada Academy of Ophthalmology.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons – Eye M.D.s – with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve their healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trustworthy and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.orgto learn more.
[I] Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2011 Fireworks Annual Report, accessed at http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/113888/2011fwreport.pdf
[II] Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Fireworks-Related Injuries to Children, accessed at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/108/1/190.full
Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2011 Fireworks Annual Report, accessed at http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/113888/2011fwreport.pdf
[IV] British Journal of Ophthalmology, Ocular firework trauma: a systematic review on incidence, severity, outcome and prevention, accessed athttp://bjo.bmj.com.proxy1.library.jhu.edu/content/94/12/1586.full#ref-11
[V] National Fireworks Protection Agency fireworks tips, accessed at http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/pdf/public%20education/fireworkssafetytips.pdf
Filed under: Press-Media Releases
American Academy of Ophthalmology Urges Seniors to Save their Sight through Prevention and Early Detection
Blindness and vision impairment are on the rise in the United States. A recent report by Prevent Blindness America indicates that, since the year 2000, incidence of blindness and vision impairment has increased by 23 percent among Americans age 40 and older.[i] However, most blindness in this country is preventable with proper eye care. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and EyeCare America urge Americans to get regular eye exams to better prevent and detect sight-stealing eye diseases.
Rising rates of age-related eye diseases and conditions are largely to blame for the increase in vision loss. Four of the most common causes of vision loss are diabetic retinopathy, where blood vessels in the retina swell or become blocked due to diabetes; age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a breakdown of the eye’s macula; glaucoma, an eye disease that damages the optic nerve; and cataracts, in which the eye’s lens becomes clouded. These conditions have shown a marked increase over the past 12 years:
• The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy increased by 89 percent.
• The frequency of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) increased by 25 percent.
• The incidence of glaucoma increased by 22 percent.
• The number of people affected by cataracts increased by 19 percent.[ii]
As baby-boomers continue to age, the incidence of age-related eye disease is also expected to continue to increase. Currently, people age 80 and older constitute only 8 percent of the population, but account for 69 percent of all cases of blindness.[iii] Early detection and treatment by an ophthalmologist – an eye medical doctor – may help prevent and in some cases, such as cataracts, even reverse vision loss.
Many seniors age 65 and older may qualify for an eye exam and up to 1 year of care at no out-of-pocket-cost through EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. EyeCare America matches qualifying patients age 65 and older with an ophthalmologist who provides a comprehensive medical eye examination. EyeCare America is co-sponsored by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc, with additional support from Alcon. To see if you or a loved one is eligible, visit the online referral center at www.eyecareamerica.org.
“Regular eye exams are imperative to detect and treat eye diseases and prevent serious vision loss,” said Richard P. Mills, M.D., chairman of EyeCare America. “This is especially true for people age 65 and older who are at increased risk for eye diseases. That’s why EyeCare America is so focused on providing access to eye care, and we hope that fewer people will suffer from preventable causes of blindness as a result.”
To learn more about EyeCare America or to find out if you or a loved one qualifies for the program, visit www.eyecareamerica.org. Learn more about eye diseases and conditions, and keeping your eyes healthy at www.geteyesmart.org.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons – Eye M.D.s – with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org. The Academy’s EyeSmart® public education program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve their healthy vision, by providing the most trustworthy and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. Visit www.geteyesmart.org to learn more.
About EyeCare America
Established in 1985, EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is committed to the preservation of sight, accomplishing its mission through public service and education. EyeCare America provides year-round eye care services to medically underserved seniors and those at increased risk for eye disease through its corps of nearly 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists dedicated to serving their communities. More than 90 percent of the care made available is provided at no out-of-pocket cost to the patients. Since its inception, EyeCare America has helped more than 1.7 million people. More information can be found at: www.eyecareamerica.org.
HealthCare Partners Nevada is a network of more than 200 primary care physicians and more than 1,300 specialists. With medical clinics and specialty care affiliates throughout Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City and Pahrump, HealthCare Partners Nevada (HCPNV) is committed to delivering the highest quality of care to all our patients.
Through our total care model, HealthCare Partners provides patient centered comprehensive primary care, specialty, and urgent care services. Founded in 1996, HealthCare Partners Nevada is an affiliate of HealthCare Partners LLC with offices in California, Florida and Nevada.
At HealthCare Partners we approach your health with Total Care. Our mission is to deliver the highest quality care to all our patients. We do this by offering you complete access to our services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also accommodate same-day appointments.
Our health care providers are ready and able to offer expert care when you need it most. While our mission is to deliver the best possible care for our patients, our promise is to provide the personal attention you deserve. It is our pleasure to ensure your individual healthcare needs are met.
When you choose HealthCare Partners, you are choosing to manage your health through what we call our Total Care Model. Total care means that you are actively involved with a team of healthcare professionals lead by your primary care physician who is responsible for coordinating your care and ensuring the best outcome possible for your medical needs.
HealthCare Partners is continually adding medical specialties to our team of healthcare professionals, including cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, internal medicine, pediatrics, and podiatry.
Cardiologists are doctors with special training and skill in finding, treating and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
Click here to find a HealthCare Partners Medical Group cardiologists.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Repair
- Atrial Fibrillation Management
- Cardiac Catheterization /Angiography
- Cardiovascular Disease Management
- Carotid Ultrasonography
- Catheter Ablation (CA)
- Cholesterol Management And Testing
- Coagulation Monitoring
- Coronary Angioplasty/Stenting
- Doppler Ultrasound
- Echocardiography (Echo)
- Electrophysiological Studies (EPS)
- Gated Blood Pooling Imaging
- Heart Rhythm Management
- Holter/Event Monitoring
- Implantable Cardioverter /Defribrillator (ICD)
- Laser Lead Extractions
- Nuclear Cardiac Imaging
- Patent Foramen Ovale Repair (PFO)
- Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Rotational Atherectomy (PCTRA)
- Peripheral Vascular Disease Management And Testing
- Peripheral Vascular Interventions
- Permanent Pacemaker Implantation
- Stress Testing
- Structural Heart Disease
- T-Wave Alternans
- Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
- Transesophageal Echocardiography
- Ventricular Septal Defect Repair (VSD)
- Women And Heart Disease
Endocrinologists are doctors that focus on the medical aspects of hormones and their associated diseases and conditions. Endocrine disorders may include: cholesterol disorders, coronary artery disease, diabetes, hormone replacement therapy, hypertension, hypoglycemia, obesity, osteoporosis, reproductive medicine and thyroid disorders.
Dermatologists are doctors that specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders of the skin, hair and nails.
Internal medicine specialists are doctors that focus on adult medicine and have had special study and training focusing on the prevention and treatment of adult diseases. Internists are sometimes referred to as the “doctor’s doctor”, because they are often called upon to act as consultants to other physicians to help solve puzzling diagnostic problems.
Pediatricians are doctors that focus on babies, children, adolescents, and young adults from birth to age 21. Pediatricians manage the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their patients in every stage of development.
Podiatrists are doctors that diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg.