Why the world is looking to Japan for a breakthrough in cataract - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Why the world is looking to Japan for a breakthrough in cataract treatment

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The World Health Organization estimates there are about 20 million people who have gone blind from cataracts worldwide.        

The current treatment is for doctors to surgically implant an artificial lens in the eye. It's a difficult operation that is rarely performed in developing countries. But there are some new developments.

Instead of that hard plastic lens, a team in Japan has developed a new memory gel which can be inserted into the eye through a tiny hole.  Once inside the eye, it quickly expands into place.      

Scientists say it provides a more varied focal point than the hard lens. And this procedure is less invasive, and cheaper.      

The team has applied for a patent, and hopes to bring the lens to market in the next few years.     Scientists say the new gel offers high hopes to millions, with the number of elderly expected to skyrocket in the coming years.

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