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42-year-old man develops starry cataracts after electrocution

By Amanda Stewart,

A 42-year-old electrician was electrocuted on the job and left with star-shaped cataracts.

Normally an electrical surge like this being sent through the body would kill people, but this man was left with a strange eye problem.

The incident was reported in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, according to Tech Times. The 14,000 volt shock that surged through the man’s body went through his optic nerve, which is responsible for getting information from the eye’s retina to the brain.

The man reportedly sought out medical attention a month after the incident due to blurred vision and this is when the doctors found the strange star-shaped cataracts in his eyes. They are calling the condition an electrical burn that caused damage to the optical nerve.

“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.

According to Health Newsline, the man underwent cataract surgery three months after the incident, but his vision only slightly improved. Ten years after the fact, he is still legally blind, but can read and use public transportation independently.

The reason that the man developed star-shaped cataracts is still not clear. A few animal studies indicate that small bubbles are formed when the lens comes into contact with electricity, like the man’s did, which can form the starry cataracts.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

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