Research Shows Patients Who Have Cataracts Removed are 30% Less Likely to Develop Dementia

By Maddie Millis - January 26, 2022

People who have cataracts removed may be gaining more than better vision. Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that they are nearly 30 percent less likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, than are people with cataracts who do not have the surgery.

The key, the researchers say, may be the restoration of vision that comes with cataract surgery. The finding stems from data on 3,038 people 65 and older who were dementia-free at the start of the study and were tracked for nearly 10 years after their decision on eye surgery.

The researchers noted that visual impairment has been identified as a dementia risk factor, in part because it can lead to social isolation and decreased cognitive stimulation. But by restoring vision, they wrote, cataract surgery may help delay or prevent the development of dementia.

By comparison, the researchers found no differences in risk for dementia among people who did or did not have glaucoma surgery, which does not restore vision. Glaucoma is a condition that attacks the optic nerve. A cataract is a cloudy area that can develop in the lens of the eye, almost always caused by normal changes in the eye that come with age. Proteins in the lens tend to break down and clump together, according to the National Eye Institute, creating the cloudy area. This can lead to such symptoms as blurred vision, sensitivity to light and difficulty seeing at night.

The only treatment is surgery to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens), which restores vision. More than 24 million U.S. residents have cataracts, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and nearly half of people who are 80 either have cataracts or have had surgery to remove them.

Searing, Linda. “People Who Have Cataracts Removed Are 30 Percent Less Likely to Develop Dementia.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 9 Jan. 2022,



Go Back
Recent Blogs
What Happens During Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery yields excellent visual outcomes, improving blurred vision and in some cases brighter colors. With the help of our leading eye care experts, your cataract surgery can be hassle-free and require little recovery time. Ensuring a comfor
Welcoming Dr. Gregory Kouyoumdjian
We are thrilled to announce Dr. Gregory Kouyoumdjian has joined our surgical and consultative team. As a cornea, cataract and refractive surgeon, he will assist our patients within the Littleton location.
Tricks and Treats for Eye Health Nutrition
Halloween candy treats are special, but as we head into the fall season, you can eat your way to better eye health by simply incorporating key foods to support your eyes. Good eye health starts with how you feed your body.
Eye Emergency Care - Do You Know What To Do?
Eye emergencies happen. Our first instinct may be to get to an emergency room or an urgent care for help, however that might not always be the best plan of action when dealing with the eyes.
Welcoming Dr. Stephanie Muylaert
InSight Vision Group is thrilled to announce Dr. Stephanie Muylaert has joined our surgical team. As a cataract and glaucoma surgeon, she will assist our patients within our Denver and Parker offices.