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.