Human Anatomy 5th Period
Cataracts What is Cataracts if you may ask? A cataract is an eye disease in which the natural lens of the eye gradually degrades the visual quality. The natural lens sits behind the colorful part of the eye known as the iris in the area known as the pupil, which cannot be seen unless it becomes very cloudy. This is crucial, because the lens plays a significant role in focusing a light on the retina at the back of the eye. The retina turns light into a neurologic signal that the brains takes and then interprets it to be vision. What cataracts do is block the light passing through the lens therefore causing visual symptoms and complaints. Where did the term cataracts derive from? Cataracts derived from the Greek term cataractos, which describes rapidly running water. To show the connection between the two terms, when water is turbulent it is transformed from a clear medium to white and cloudy. What are the causes of cataracts? The lens has a makeup of mostly water and protein. Some of the proteins are responsible for maintaining the clarity of the lens but over the years the structure of the proteins in the lens are altered, which leads to the gradual clouding of the eyes; Cataracts can be present at birth or even in early childhood but it’s very rare. Severe trauma to the eye and even eye surgery can also cause cataracts to occur early. Other factors that could lead to cataracts at an early age would be excessive ultraviolet exposure, diabetes, smoking or the use of medications such as oral, topical or inhaled steroids. Cataracts can occur in one or both of the eyes but one eye has to be worse than the other. Cataracts are an eye disease that has been around throughout history. The earliest records are from the bible as well as early Hindu records. In the early days, concoctions and eye drops were produced to treat cataracts. Surgical treatment began by physicians in ancient Babylon and India. The first reference to cataracts and its treatment was in Ancient Rome found in twenty nine AD in “De Medicinae, which was the work of the Latin encyclopedias Aulis Cornelius Celsus. The first extraction of Cataracts was performed by Iraqi Ammar ibn of Mosul. The method which is known as couching was when they used a very sharp instrument to push the cloudy lens to the bottom of the eye. Surprisingly, this method is used in some parts of Africa today. An advance In the surgical ways of removing cataracts came in the eighteenth century. Surgeons progressed to make incisions on the eye and remove lens and capsule instead of pushing it backward. Shockingly around this time, even one surgeon tried to replace the cataract with a small glass lens, but it was too heavy and sank to the bottom of the eyes. The only way patients would be able to see after surgery would be to wear thick, heavy cataract glasses. In the twentieth century, surgeons had discovered to remove the cloudy lens but to leave the empty capsule in the eye. Discoveries were made during World War II. British surgeons found out that pieces of Plexiglas from shattered canopies of fighter planes did not cause a harmful reaction in a pilot’s eyes. Discovering this, British surgeon Harold Ridly designed a tiny lens that was to be implanted in the eye. Charles Kelman, an American Surgeon, adapted a new technology called ultrasound to remove cataracts in the of nineteen sixty eight. This procedure known as phacoemulsification, uses a small probe with a vibrating tip to gently break up cataracts and wash it away. This revolutionary technology changed the way cataracts surgery was performed when ultrasound and plastic lens technology was performed. Modern cataract surgery is considered to be one of the safest surgeries performed with millions of procedures completed every year around the world. There is many different types of cataracts. There is the age...
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