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The Horrors Of Ancient Cataract Surgeries

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 Biology   |   Health   |   Science   |   Technology
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Doctors have been slicing into eyeballs for over 2500 years. Luckily, surgeons have made some progress since then.
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Facts About Cataracts from the National Eye Institute:
https://nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts

More on Sushruta:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3039177/
http://bjo.bmj.com/content/59/3/171.full.pdf

Couching in the Modern World:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3743109/

More on the development of the first replacement lenses:
http://bjo.bmj.com/content/85/9/1022.full

For more weird ancient cataract surgery facts, check out this episode of the Sawbones podcast (and listen to Sawbones generally, cause it's awesome):
http://www.maximumfun.org/sawbones/sawbones-cataracts

--
Host, Animator, Editor
Anna Rothschild

Writer
Elizabeth Preston

DP, Sound
Ceri Riley

Gulag Archipelago
Composed and Performed by
Tim Cahill and Benjamin Ouellette

IMAGES AND VIDEO

Cataract in human eye
Wikimedia Commons/Rakesh Ahuja, MD

WMS 990 Monk performing eye operation Wellcome L0041072
Wikimedia Commons/Wellcome Images

Augenoperation 1195
Wikimedia Commons/British Library MS Sloane 1975, f. 93.

Couching for cataract. Wellcome L0021165
Wikimedia Commons/Wellcome Images

Operation for Cataract. Wellcome M0007416
Wikimedia Commons/Wellcome Images

Operation on the eye Wellcome M0007426
Wikimedia Commons/Wellcome Images

Sustruta. Pen drawing. Wellcome V0006619
Wikimedia Commons/Wellcome Images

Navy Fighter Pilots Aboard a British Aircraft Carrier. 4 January 1943, Aboard HMS Formidable. A14193
Wikimedia Commons/Imperial War Museums, Roper F G (Lt)

Whirlwindfighterproject FA 18181s
Wikimedia Commons/Royal Air Force official photographer

Cataract Surgery
Pond5/sheyno

SFX

Cockroaches
Freesound/StateAardvark¬
(used with permission from author)

Squeak Pack/squeak_10
Freesound/Corsica_S

Produced by WGBH for PBS Digital Studios

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