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Impact of cataract surgery on car driving: a population based study in Sweden
  1. Eva Mönestam,
  2. Lillemor Wachtmeister
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, Umeå University, S-901 85 Umeå, Sweden
  1. E Mönestam, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Umeå University, S-901 85 Umeå, Sweden.


AIMS To investigate the outcome of cataract surgery on the patients’ self estimation of visual function while driving. Furthermore, the benefit of surgery to the car driving population was determined.

METHODS A total of 208 consecutive patients (211 cases) with driving licences, who underwent cataract surgery with intraocular lenses, were studied prospectively using self administered questionnaires. Their self estimated degree of visual functional problems while driving were analysed before and after surgery.

RESULTS Visual problems while driving declined from 82% preoperatively to 5% after surgery. Remaining visual problems with the operated eye were present in only seven patients. Problems in estimating distance while driving decreased from 37% before surgery to 6% after surgery. Twenty three per cent of the patients drove with a visual acuity below the requirements for driving in Sweden before surgery and only 4% after surgery. There was no correlation between the degree of visual problems while driving and visual acuity before surgery.

CONCLUSION The car driving population greatly benefited from cataract surgery in terms of subjectively improved visual function and distance estimation while driving. Functional visual problems while driving should be considered as an indication for cataract surgery. These findings also indicated that the second eye should be operated on, if necessary, to achieve optimal ability to estimate distance and give best possible road safety.

  • cataract surgery
  • car driving
  • Sweden
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