New implant for cataract suffers

London: A new eye implant, a hinged lens which allows the eye to focus naturally, has been developed by scientists for use in cataract surgery.

Cataracts, more common in the elderly, causes a clouding of the eye’s lens, leading to blurred images and eventually loss of sight.

In the past surgeons replaced the eye lens with an artificial one fixed for distance vision, whch meant that glasses were still needed for reading and other close work.

The new implant allows the eye muscle to move forwards and backwards, enabling it to focus close and on distance. Basically it gives older people the vision they had 25 years previously. The procedure takes 20 minutes to perform under local anaesthetic and is only available privately at a cost of around $5,000.

In the US, the FDA carried out trials of the Crystal Lens implant with an 80% success rate. In the trials, carried out on 497 eyes, there were no major complications from the operation. A slight drawback experienced by some patients is some glare at night while driving, but this tends to settle down.