After being electrocuted, a California electrician ends up with star shaped cataracts
Star shaped cataracts still not fully understood
Star shaped cataracts not the only reason for man’s poor vision
An electrician in California has developed star shaped cataracts after being electrocuted. The 42 year old was involved in a serious work-related accident in which he was electrocuted.
The man came into contact with 14,000 volts when his left shoulder contacted the electrical current. The current ran through his entire body, including his optic nerve.
Four weeks after the incident, the man complained of having vision problems and was seen by Dr. Bobby Korn, an associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of California, for treatment.
Upon examination, Dr. Korn found that the man had star shaped cataracts in both eyes. A cataract is a clouding of the eye lens that leads to decreased vision. The visual loss is due to the cloudiness of the lens obstructing light from passing through and being focused on the retina.
“The optic nerve is similar to any wire that conducts electricity. In this case, the extreme current and voltage that passed through this important natural wire caused damage to the optic nerve itself,” said Dr. Bobby Korn, who treated the man.
The reason for star shaped cataracts occurring is still not completely understood. In some studies on animals, it appears that when the lens comes into contact with electricity, small bubbles form, called vacuoles, which eventually merge to form the star shaped cataracts.
After receiving surgery to remove the star shaped cataracts, and having new lenses implanted, the man’s vision improved slightly. However, Dr. Korn explains that if there is more than just damage to the lens, in this case the optic nerve, “then you’ll never get a good picture.” Ten years later, the man still suffers from poor vision.