Health Q&A: cataract replacement lens

Dr David Roche / 04 August 2016

Saga Magazine’s Dr Roche answers a question about what cataract replacement lens are made of.

Q: I’ve had cataract surgery and wonder what substance is used to make the new lenses that are put in the eye?

A: Various substances have been used over the years to replace the eye’s natural lens, when it has been affected by cataract.

The current technique requires a foldable lens, which can be introduced through a very small incision and then pops into shape inside the eye. This is an acrylic substance, designed for the purpose.

In 1949, Perspex was used for the first replacement lens. This was chosen because ophthalmologists treating eye injuries in wartime RAF pilots, who often had fragments of shattered windscreens in their eyes, noticed that the eye did not react against this substance.

What happens during cataract surgery

Signs and symptoms of cataracts

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