This pair of starry eyes belong to an electrician who was exposed to a 14,000-volt electric shock to his left shoulder. The lastest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, has published the account of how this man was left with “bilateral stellate anterior subcapsular opacities of the lens”. In other words, star-shaped cataracts.

In the case study entitiled ‘Ocular Manifestation of Electrical Burn‘, researchers Bobby Korn and Don Kikkawa explain the patient’s condition and treatment.

star shaped cataracts

Following the 14,000-volt shock, the patient’s vision started to deteriorate. When examined, he was found to have bilateral stellate anterior subcapsular opacities of the lens. Four months later he underwent surgery to remove the cataracts and an intraocular lens was fitted, which did provide an improvement in vision.

“Although the patient was legally blind, he was able to read with the use of low-vision aids and was able to independently commute on public transportation,” reads the study.

Although it is common for cataracts to develop following eye injuries, it is not known why the cataracts formed in to this particular shape as a result of the electric shock. But the message is clear: Electricity is dangerous and not to be messed with!

[Image via NEJM]