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Cataract, or cloudiness of the clear lens of the eye, is the commonest cause of curable blindness in the world. Each year some 1¼ million people lose their sight because of it. Treatment for the condition is surgical, from which the results are excellent. This book is a comprehensive guide to the condition. The anatomy of the eye is fully described and is followed by clear descriptions of the causes, symptoms and treatment of cataract. The operation, including the use of intraocular implants, is explained, together with an outline of the pre- and post-operative care which may be expected. The extensive use of illustrations enhances the text. A glossary of terms and an appendix of the history of cataract complete a text which will be of immense help to all sufferers and their families. It will also be of value to health care professionals not only to help them understand the condition but also to Recommend to their patients.

Faber & Faber, 1985, both hardback and paperback. 87 pages, illustrated


German Edition

This short volume is a clear and concise account of a common ocular disability - cataract. It aims to allay the anxieties and fears of patients, their families and friends by giving an explanation of the facts about cataract and the operation for its removal. Written in simple and plain language it is of interest to the general reader, nurse, medical student and general practitioner. It has a useful glossary of ophthalmic terms, and an account of the simple anatomy of the eye. Some of the main causes of cataract formation are described briefly. The postoperative problems of the correction of aphakia with spectacles, contact lens and intra-ocular implants are considered. There is a useful chapter on 'Do's and Dont's' following surgery. The highly sophisticated technique of keratomileusis is maintained although the authors state, 'At the moment it does not seem, to have any immediate relevance to the treatment of the post-cataract state'. For the medical historian, there is an interesting account of the historical aspect of cataract and its treatment. Having digested the contents of this book, the preoperative patient would be in a better position to give informed consent for the operation, but he might be a little worried about the outcome when he is given the useful address at the end of the book of the Royal National Institute for the Blind. The book can be recommended to cataract patients, their families and health care professionals.

J.S. Conway, The Royal Free Hospital, London NW3 2QG