Cataract expert testimony may be important for a variety of legal and administrative reasons.
Cataracts are common, and although they may occur in virtually any age group, they are particularly prevalent in the elderly population. When the naturally clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy, it is referred to as a cataract.
The most common reason for cataract development is aging. Ultraviolet light exposure over many years and natural degradation of protein within the natural lens of the eye is believed to cause cataracts. However, certain medications if used over a prolonged period of time may result in cataracts. For example, cataracts from the prolonged steroid use of steroids may appear to an ophthalmologist as cloudiness in the back of the natural lens. Evaluation by an ophthalmologist may be useful when distinguishing the cause or presence of a particular type of cataract.
Cataract expert testimony may be applicable in cases of trauma to the eye that causes cataracts to form. Cataracts resulting from eye trauma may have an appearance that distinguishes them from other types of cataracts.
Cataracts from trauma can be due to blunt or penetrating injury. Penetrating injuries can directly impact the natural lens of the eye and cause an immediate or slowly progressive progressive cataract. Analysis from an ocular expert may discern the extent of cataract development originating from either blunt or penetrating eye trauma.
Cataract removal with placement of an intraocular lens is usually considered when a cataract has advanced to a point when it interferes with vision and functional abilities. For example, cataract removal may be considered when it impairs the ability to drive. Cataract surgery with it’s associated benefits, risks, and complications are issues that are effectively addressed by testimony from an ocular expert.
A variety of intraocular lens implants are available for use at the time of cataract surgery. Intraocular lens implants replace the natural lens of the eye whenh a cataract is removed. Therefore, a lens implant is an artificial lens that takes the place of the cataract.
Intraocular lens technology has ushered in an era of significant advances in lens implants for cataract surgery. New types of intraocular lens implants include multifocal lens implants and toric lens implants to correct astigmatism. Lens implants are manufactured different types of plastics. The most common type of plastics for intraocular lenses include acrylic, silicone, and polymethylmethacryale. A new composition that is light-sensitive is integral for a process of cataract removal called phacophotolysis.
Factual issues regarding cataract surgery and lens implants often come up in deposition and trial. A board certified ophthalmologist is qualified to provide information about cataract surgery, as well as the indications and contraindications for the wide variety of intraocular lens implants that are currently available.
Cataract expert testimony by witnesses who have special training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of cataracts often testify to their opinions regarding factual issues. Responsible opinions by ocular experts give a judge or jury insight that facilitates accurate interpretation of evidence.