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Stunning Images of What Happened to a Man's Eyes After a 14,000-Volt Shock


"The optic nerve is similar to any wire that conducts electricity."

A 42-year-old man doesn't have stars in his eyes because he's seen someone famous. They're actually star-like cataracts that resulted after the electrician received a 14,000-volt shock.

Ocular manifestation of an electrical burn The patient developed star-shaped cataracts after he was electrocuted. (Image source: New England Journal of Medicine)

Dr. Bobby Korn published the case study with the stunning images of the patient's eyes in the  New England Journal of Medicine.

The journal article describes the treatment the patient underwent to correct his vision problems that resulted after he was electrocuted:

Four months after the injury, the patient underwent cataract extraction and implantation of an intraocular lens, which was followed by improvement in visual acuity to 20/70 in the right eye and 20/400 in the left eye. Two years after the injury, a retinal detachment developed in the left eye, and the patient underwent repair.

After 10 years, the patient could only count two fingers with the vision in his left eye and was 20/100 in the right. The authors of the patient study wrote that while cataract extraction after an electrical injury is expected to correct some vision issues, other damage that occurs to the optic nerve and retina might limit visual recovery.

"The optic nerve is similar to any wire that conducts electricity," Dr. Korn, an associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of California- San Diego, explained to LiveScience. "In this case, the extreme current and voltage that passed through this important natural wire caused damage to the optic nerve itself."

Though legally blind, the patient could read with some aid and commuted using public transit, the study said.

(H/T: io9)

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