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It has long been one of the tenets of ophthalmology that no senile cataract should be extracted until it is ripe; that is, until the degenerative process that begins either in the nucleus or the cortex of the lens, or in both together, has extended to its whole substance, thus loosening it from the capsule, and allowing its easy and complete extrusion when the capsule is divided.
To follow this rule entails upon many subjects of cataract an enforced period of disability from the time the opacity reaches a degree sufficient to incapacitate them for work, to the time when the lens is fit to be operated upon.
Inasmuch as this period of growth from incipiency to full maturity is from one to three years or more, the delay, to many, is a serious matter, and especially so if the subject is a person upon whose labors others as well
ARTIFICIAL RIPENING OF IMMATURE CATARACTS. JAMA. 1893;XX(12):343–344. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420390025004
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