Dozens of patients with blind spots & # 39; could sue a lens manufacturer after the routine operation made their eyesight worse
- As many as 800 people are expected to have eye problems with the lenses
- The lenses, made by Oculentis, were used for cataracts five to seven years ago
- But calcium deposits are built up in the eyes of people and have made their vision worse
Sam Blanchard Health Reporter for Mailonline
Denise Di Battista, a painter, said that she was in one eye almost blindly & # 39; has become because of calcium accumulation in her cataract lens
Dozens of people were able to sue a lens manufacturer after their cataract operations made their vision worse.
It is thought that as many as 800 patients were affected by a problem with Oculentis lenses that have become turbid after years of implantation.
The company has already retrieved the lenses that caused the problem and probably on the market five to seven years ago.
A woman involved in the upcoming lawsuit, Denise Di Battista, said she was very startled & # 39; was to find out that she needed another cataract operation to solve the problem.
It is assumed that hundreds of people suffer from opacifying their lenses – which means that patches of the eye lens are difficult to get through.
The problem affects those whose natural lenses were replaced during cataract surgery and it took years before they came to the surface, reports the BBC.
Cloudiness in the new lenses is caused by calcium deposits that build up over the years until they become so large that they obstruct the view of people.
Di Battista, a painter, said she now has blind spots in one of her eyes and is struggling to see colors after an operation in 2010.
She told the BBC: "If I looked through my right eye, I would think I was almost blind.
& # 39; It affects my painting and that really hurts me. & # 39;
A lawyer who takes action against Oculentis on behalf of Di Battista said that dozens of people are looking for similar compensation because of the problematic batch.
The company has already paid for surgeons to replace the lenses in patients affected by the problem, which is the only way to repair the damage.
Attorney Peter Todd said: "Madam Di Battista has been devastated by the deterioration of her vision since she implanted the Oculentis lens.
& # 39; She is one of the dozens of people we represent in forthcoming legal action.
& # 39; All claim to have had the same experiences after the lens has been implanted. We will soon start legal proceedings. & # 39;
Hundreds of people are presumed to suffer from vision problems, because they had cataract operations where they were given lenses that later built up calcium.
Cataract operations are the most common surgical procedures in the UK – with about 400,000 of them performed in the UK every year.
But if the lenses are replaced for the second time, the risk of complications increases, so that surgeons and patients are more reticent in repeating the operation.
And people will be frustrated to have to go back to the operating room after having what they thought was a one-time procedure, an expert said.
Eye surgeon Sheraz Daya told the BBC: "A percentage of lenses have calcium deposits on the surface that only become clear five to seven years later when they accumulate sufficiently to obscure their vision.
It is understandably devastating for patients who thought they were ready for life and dusted and did not expect any problem with the lens. & # 39;
The number of people who have problems with the lenses is "extremely low," said Oculentis, and about half of those affected have already undergone a replacement surgery.
A spokesman for the company based in Germany and the Netherlands said: "We regret if patients have experienced complications after implanting one of our lenses.
Opacification, or clouding of the lens, is a known risk for lens-eye surgery and can be caused by a number of factors that interact, which are not necessarily due to the lens itself.
& # 39; The incidence is extremely low. It can be effectively remedied through lens exchange surgery, which is a safe and well-established procedure.
Anyone who has a visual disorder should consult his or her surgeon or clinic who will be able to identify the cause and recommend an appropriate course of action, otherwise there is no cause for concern. & # 39;
WHAT ARE CATARACATES?
Cataract occurs when the lens – a small transparent disc in the eye that helps to focus light – becomes cloudy.
The patches are gradually increasing over time, according to the NHS, and can lead to blurred vision and, in some cases, blindness.
Cataract affects about half of the over-65s in the UK. About 24 million adults over 40 in the US suffer, according to figures.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists warned last year that as a result of a rapidly aging population, the number of required cataract operations is expected to increase by 50 percent over the next 20 years.
But in his new book, The Complete Patient Manual for Cataract Operations & # 39; claimed the leading eye surgeon David Allamby that there simply are not enough specialists to cope with the rising demand.
He said that about 1,300 NHS surgeons perform 389,000 operations per year. In 2035, however, more than 2,000 physicians are required to perform about 583,500 procedures per year.
People are more at risk if they: have diabetes, an eye injury, take certain medicines or have other eye conditions.
Symptoms normally develop very slowly and include being more sensitive to light and thinking that everything looks bad.
Cataracts can be surgically removed and replaced with an artificial lens. No other treatment is available.
The Mail has long campaigned against the current unfair UK operation system, which was a zip code lottery until the health watchdog issued guidelines in August to address the problem, leading many patients to the uncomplicated 30-minute operations were denied.