Star Cataract after Punch to the Eye
Cataracts aren’t usually known for their beauty, but a European man has developed a star-shaped cataract after being punched.
The 55-year-old Austrian man consulted an ophthalmologist after his vision progressively worsened in the months after being punched.
“Nature has made a beautiful cataract, most aren’t so pretty,” Dr. Mar Fromer, an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said after reviewing images of the cataract.
Dr. Fromer, who is also the eye surgeon for the New York Rangers hockey team, said it was very common for cataracts to form after the eye takes a hit.
Punches and the balls used in sports are most often the cause, but bumps from air bags and steering wheels have also created cataracts, he said.
When the eyeball is struck, the energy of the blow sends shock waves through the eye that can disrupt the nature of the eye’s lens, causing it to become opaque in regions, he explained. In most cases, cataracts look more like a vaguely shaped cloud, and can be white or yellowish.
The case was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.