The data from this study are obtained from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) 2 and analysed to evaluate if cataract surgery benefits patients with concurrent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The AREDS 2 was a five year, prospective, multi-centre randomised controlled trial of nutritional supplements for the treatment of AMD. Of the 8406 eyes from 4203 study participants, 1232 eyes of 793 patients underwent cataract surgery during the study. When adjusted for age, gender and severity of cataract, eyes with mild AMD gained 11.2 letters, eyes with moderate AMD gained 11.1 letters, eyes with severe AMD gained 8.7 letters, and eyes with advanced AMD gained 6.8 letters. This study was not designed for this purpose and thus has several shortcomings, including lack of uniform postoperative follow-up periods. Nevertheless, the large patient numbers and longitudinal follow-up are major strengths of the study. The study confirms that cataract surgery can improve the visual acuity significantly in AMD patients, whether mild, moderate, severe or advanced. AMD patients should not be discouraged from undergoing cataract surgery on account of their guarded prognosis as visual benefits may be achieved. 

Visual acuity after cataract surgery in patients with age-related macular degeneration.
Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 Research Group.
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Brian Ang

Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

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