New less intrusive cataract operation hailed as "incredible"

Cataracts are the cause of more than half the world's cases of blindness

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New Cataract Treatment Enables Eyes To Regenerate Own Lenses


A medical team in China has developed a less intrusive cataract treatment that allows the eye to repair itself.

More than half of all cases of blindness around the world are caused by cataracts, which cause the clouding of the eye's lens.

SEE ALSO: HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE AT RISK OF CATARACTS

An implanted lens is normally needed to restore sight, but the new operation activates stem cells in the eye to grow a new one.

Experts have described the breakthrough as one of the finest achievements in regenerative medicine, reports the BBC.

The lens sits just behind the pupil and focuses light on to the retina.

SEE ALSO: COPING WITH AGE-RELATED CATARACTS

An estimated 20 million people are blind because of cataracts, which become more common with age.

Conventional treatment uses ultrasound to soften and break up the lens, which is then flushed out. An artificial lens is then be implanted back into the eye, but, while generally very successful, this can result in complications, particularly in children.

Cataracts Explained