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History of cataract surgery. Intra-ocular lenses

History of cataract surgery Intra-ocular lenses (IOL) which are used in cataract and refractive surgery appeared thanks to the efforts of British ophthalmic surgeon Harold Ridley. During World War II he noticed while he was treating British pilots who got eye wounds, that when plastic debris  from plane cabin windows got inside the eye and stayed there even a prolonged period of time they caused no inflammation. This revelation was the key for the development of the material for artificial lenses to replace human lens, and now they are widely used in ophthalmology.

In November 1949 Ridley implanted the first artificial lens made of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) which was an exact copy of the human crystalline lens. Despite the fact that Ridley’s lenses were far from being perfect, the idea was a real revolution in ophthalmology. In 1999 Queen Elizabeth awarded Harold Ridley the Knight’s Title for his 94th birthday.

History of cataract surgery. Intra-ocular lenses
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