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Instruments from an ophthalmic set, London, England, 1810-1850

The set contains six needles, one combined needle and gouge and a pair of iris forceps to carry out delicate eye operations. Iris forceps are used to move connective tissues around on the iris, whereas cataract knives were used to take out cataracts, which cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy and can lead to blindness unless removed. The ivory-handled set was made by a number of British surgical instrument makers.

Object number:

A617498 Pt1

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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)