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Year : 1962  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 71-72

Bilateral cataract produced by electricity - A case report

Sadar Hospital, Dumka, (S.P.) Bihar, India

Date of Web Publication18-Mar-2008

Correspondence Address:
B K Singh
Sadar Hospital, Dumka, (S.P.) Bihar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Singh B K. Bilateral cataract produced by electricity - A case report. Indian J Ophthalmol 1962;10:71-2

How to cite this URL:
Singh B K. Bilateral cataract produced by electricity - A case report. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1962 [cited 2023 Sep 23];10:71-2. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1962/10/3/71/39563

A villager aged about 30 years being ignorant of the effects of electricity and charmed by the new line passing through his village climbed upon an electric pole on 18-1-1953 and touched a live wire with three fingers of his right hand and immediately fell on the ground. He had superficial burn of face, forehead, neck, chest and fingers which touched the wire and had in­juries on the back of both thighs and left fore-arms due to fall from the height. He had no bleeding in­juries on the head or round about the orbits. After the accident the patient was unconscious and re­gained consciousness after about three hours. The patient was treat­ed locally by a general practitioner and was cured in a few days time. After about 4 weeks he developed dimness of vision and was advis­ed to consult a specialist. In eight months' time when the patient was much incapacitated, he consulted me on 1-9-1958.

Information about the exact amount of voltage available at the point of contact could not be gathered.

Examination:-(September 1, 1958) The visual acuity in right and left eyes was counting fingers at ¼ metre and ½ metre respectively. There was no injection in either eye and the lenses showed immature cata­racts. On dilating the pupils with homatropine and on examination with a loupe and oblique illumina­tion it was found that the opacity in both the eyes was denser in the centre than at the periphery of the lens. There were numerous very small, dense, discrete opacities of various sizes and shapes. A photo­graph of the eye was taken under mydriasis See [Figure - 1].

Treatment :- In left eye a needl­ing was done on 3-11-1958. In right eye a needling was done on 3-12-1958 and a curette evacuation on 10-12-1958. The patient was cured and discharged on 23-12-1958.

Follow up :--(March 6, 1959) The eyes were white, pupils round and central. A thin capsule was seen in right pupillary area, capsule in left pupillary area was clear. Visual acuity, right eye 6/9 & J1, left eye 6/6 & J1, with both eyes with + 11.50 D sph. for distance and 14.50 D sph. for near.

On 13th April, 1961 the patient was reported to have good vision with his glasses.

  Discussion Top

Electricity has been known to produce cataracts in persons without seriously affecting other organs of the body. Duke-Elder (1954) has quoted numerous sources and has mentioned a range of 500 to 80,000 volts electrical current which has produced cataracts. Lock (1957) has reported a case in which an unila­teral electrical cataract was pro­duced by such a low voltage as 230-240 volts which is in the range of normal domestic supplies. The history of four weeks latent period before the onset of symptoms and the appearance of the cataract are typical of previous descriptions of cataracts caused by electricity. This patient did not have much injury on the head or face except the superficial burn. This suggests that the cataract was not due to trauma to the lens but was due to the electrical current affecting the lens of the eyes.[2]

  References Top

Duke-Elder, S. (1954) "Text book of Ophthalmology Vol. 6, P. 6436. ­Kimpton, London.  Back to cited text no. 1
Lock, J. A. N. (1957), Brit. J. Ophthal­mology, 41, 500.  Back to cited text no. 2


  [Figure - 1]


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