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Beer-type cataract knife and needle, cased, Paris, 1820-1866

Georg Joseph Beer (1763-1821), an Austrian professor of ophthalmology, invented this cataract knife and needle around 1805. Cataracts cause blurred vision as the lens becomes cloudy and if left untreated can cause blindness. These instruments allowed for the surgical removal of some of the cloudy mass and, if necessary, part or all of the lens itself. Prior to effective anaesthetics this was an excruciatingly painful process. Today, the cataract-affected lens would be entirely removed by surgery and an artificial lens inserted.

Object number:

A617525

Related Themes and Topics

 

Glossary:

Glossary: ophthalmology

The branch of medicine dealing with the diseases and surgery of the visual pathways (usually the eyes or the brain).

Glossary: ophthalmic instrument set

Group of instruments used by surgeons to perform ophthalmic operations, which are operations that deal with the visual pathways (usually the eyes or brain)