Purpose: To determine whether there is a need for second eye cataract surgery or whether cataract surgery in one eye provides sufficiently adequate vision.
Methods: The vision of 43 patients was assessed using a battery of clinical vision tests, performance-based functional vision tests, and quality of life questionnaires, both before and a few months after cataract surgery. Twenty-five patients underwent second eye surgery and 18 patients underwent first-eye surgery. To determine whether cataract surgery returned vision to normal levels, a control group of 25 subjects of a similar age with normal, healthy eyes was also assessed.
Results: Overall, greater improvements occurred in most aspects of vision after first eye surgery than after second eye surgery. However, second eye surgery provided similar improvements in mobility orientation and self-reported night driving to those after first eye surgery, and substantially greater improvements in stereoacuity and reductions in anisometropia.
Conclusions: The study provides additional evidence to support the need for second eye cataract surgery. Second eye surgery may be particularly important to improve mobility orientation and the avoidance of falls.
Department of Optometry, University of Bradford, Bradford, W. Yorkshire, United Kingdom (DBE), Department of Kinesiology (AEP, AA) and School of Optometry (MF), University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Received March 29, 1999; revision received August 9, 1999.
David B. Elliott
Department of Optometry
University of Bradford
Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 1 DP