Online Photo Diagnosis

Online Photo Diagnosis

By Patrick J. Caroline, FAAO, & Mark P. André, FAAO

Traumatic Cataract


As we all know, cataracts can be related to a number of anomalies including age, trauma, radiation, or secondary to ocular surgery. In addition, medications and a number of ocular and systemic conditions (including diabetes, atopic disease, and uveitis) have also been implicated in cataract formation. Traditionally, we classify cataracts according to type and location within the lens, i.e., nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular.

Traumatic cataracts can occur secondary to blunt or penetrating ocular trauma. Other traumatic events such as infrared energy, electric shock, and ionizing radiation can also result in cataracts. Cataract formation may take place either immediately following the trauma or years after the event.

This month's Online Photo is that of a 38-year-old male patient who suffered blunt trauma to his left eye from a bungee cord event in 2011. Within days of the injury, the patient developed this classic, rosette-shaped, "maple leaf" lens opacity.

The patient eventually underwent successful cataract extraction and intraocular lens implantation to his left eye.