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Special Report: New technology is changing the way doctors treat cataracts

Cataracts are very common in older adults. A UW Health Study found that roughly half of Americans ages 65 to 74 have cataracts. About 70 of those ages 76 and over have this condition.

Helen Polynsky loves the theatre but then shows started getting a little blurry.

"I couldn't see anything that was happening on the stage, just some silhouettes," said Helen Polynsky, a cataract patient.

She needed surgery for cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye which can affect vision. Most are related to aging.

Helen's doctor used a new handheld device called the miLOOP to treat her right eye.

"Generally we take out the cataract and break it up in the eye using either ultrasound energy, laser energy, and both of those modalities deliver energy into the eye. miLOOP can do the same thing, but without delivering that energy," Dr. Kira Manusis, Co-Director of Cataract Services at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai said

And no energy to the eye means less swelling and inflammation.

"It's like a synching device. It hooks around the lens and then you close it and it breaks it in half," said Dr. Manusis.

Dr. Manusis says the new technology allows patients to recover faster. Helen had some discomfort right after the procedure but says she could see perfectly within a day.

"We went to the theater, it was a while different story. I saw everything on stage, the facial expressions of the actors, everything," said Polynsky.

She's driving without glasses and looking forward to traveling this summer and seeing all the sights clearly. 

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