Cataract is a condition of the eye which affects a majority of the population. It involves clouding of the lens, resulting in loss of vision.
The treatment of cataract involves removing of the lens and replacing it with an artificial lens, called intraocular lens. In this process, known as phacoemulsification, an ultrasonic device is used to break up and then remove the cloudy lens. The artificial lens is then inserted.
Patricia Bath has brought a revolution in the treatment of cataract. She was the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology at the New York University and the first woman to join the staff at the Jules Stein Eye Institute. She improved on the existing method of cataract treatment.
Bath invented a device called Laserphaco probe for cataract treatment in 1986 and received a patent for the same in 1988. She was the first African-American female doctor to receive a medical patent.
Laserphaco probe uses a laser to dissolve cataracts of the eye. This method is less painful and provides a more precise treatment. The probe is now used throughout the world as a quick and safe way to prevent loss of vision due to cataracts.