That seems likely according to scientists. With around 300,000 people being treated for cataracts every year, laser treatment appears to be at the forefront. In fact, it is one of the commonest carried out in the UK.
The procedure which lasts 45 minutes replaces a clouded lens with a clear artificial one.
While this is good news for cataract sufferers, scientists are always looking for ways to improve the technique. One such new method has been brought about at Stanford University in the USA. This uses lasers normally employed to treat short sightedness.
The new treatment does away with scalpels and other equipment such as forceps and needles still needed in traditional laser therapy, making the surgery faster and cleaner.
The new procedure was carried out on 50 participants during a trial. The results were considered to be just as safe and as good as the traditional therapy in improving eyesight.
The findings were published in the Science Translational Medicine Journal. In poetic style, the report said: “As Star Wars fans know, a lightsaber fares better against the Dark Force than does a metal sword.
“This new instrument will arm surgeons with a precise and automated lightsaber with which to battle the darkening forces of cataracts.”
One of the researchers at Stanford told reporters: “This will undoubtedly affect millions of people, as cataracts are so common. There are people who will elect to have it done the new way if they can afford it. There are competitors coming out with related systems.
He added: “This is what’s exciting. This technology is going to be picked up in the clinic.”
However, there is currently one downside with the new procedure, as far as UK citizens are concerned. The new technique is more expensive than the traditional laser treatment. Consequently, not many expect it to be available on the NHS at the moment, particularly in these cash strapped time.