Medicine: Spectacle Within the Eye

Lens implants bring better vision to cataract patients

Charles de Gaulle wore them. So did Impressionist Claude Monet and myriad others. Their glasses, as thick as Coke-bottle bottoms, were and still generally are the unmistakable emblem of millions of people who have undergone surgery for removal of cataracts—clouded lenses of the eyes. Of the 400,000 patients who had such operations last year, the majority were 65 or older. Most now wear the distinctive—and somewhat unflattering—spectacles. But more than 50,000 of them have no need for special glasses; they have undergone a controversial new procedure—the...

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