On this day in December, it’s apropro that a patient presented with what can only be called a grinch – stealing vision from patients both good and bad.
I’m referring to a “christmas tree cataract.”
A christmas tree cataract gets its name from the red and green irridescent refractile crystals that form inside of the natural lens in the eye. These crystals are only visible with the high-powered microscopes your eye doctor uses.
This type of cataract occurs with aging but is very common in patients with myotonic dystrophy. Surgery is required soon after onset to restore vision.
The name of this cataract is a reminder this holiday season about the importance of regular eye exams. My patient today didn’t have any visual symptoms, but I was able to educate her on her eyes and the future course of her condition.