Cataract is an opacity of the lens. There are congenital forms, and those resulting from injuries and illnesses. The most common form, however is the age-related cataract, which usually develops after the age of 60. An effective drug therapy is not yet known. Currently, a cataract can only be eliminated surgically.
The current state of the art in the operation is to make an incision of approximately 2 to 4 mm through the conjunctiva and the sclera, or directly through the cornea into the anterior chamber. The anterior capsule of the natural lens of the patient is then opened and partially removed. Using ultrasound technology the nucleus is then liquefied and removed by suction (phacoemulsification).