Cataract surgery may improve circadian rhythms, sleep and cognition

A study in JAMA Ophthalmology showed improved circadian rhythms, cognitive performance and more time in deep sleep in individuals receiving new lenses compared to age matched controls.

With aging, the natural lens of the eye yellows and becomes cloudy, limiting the amount of light reaching the retina. During cataract surgery, the yellowed natural lens of the eye is replaced with a clear, artificial, intra-ocular lens, allowing much more light to reach the retina. In turn, this regulates the brain’s internal clock and enhances circadian rhythms. This improvement in circadian rhythms is thought to underlie the enhanced sleep and cognition.

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