The lenses of our eyes are responsible for focusing the images we see, but cataracts cloud the lenses, leading to a variety of vision problems. The type of cataracts you have determine the type and level of vision impairment that follows, as well as prognosis and treatment. What are the 3 types of cataracts?
Nuclear cataracts: These cataracts begin in the center of your eye, and are the most common type of cataract. The center of the lens begins to yellow and can even turn brown over time. Nuclear cataracts cause nearsightedness (the inability to see far away). They can also interfere with your ability to see colors clearly as the yellowing or browning progresses. Nuclear cataracts take several years to develop.
Cortical cataracts: Unlike nuclear cataracts, cortical cataracts originate from the edges of the lens. They begin as white streaks around the outer edge of the eye and gradually expand inward as they progress. Cortical cataracts scatter light as it enters the eye, blurring vision and causing light glaring.
Posterior subcapsular cataracts: As the name suggests, posterior subcapsular cataracts form on the back side of the lens. The clouding occurs directly in the path of light and can cause noticeable deterioration of vision in a matter of months. Posterior subcapsular cataracts cause lights to appear as if they have halos. These cataracts are most noticeable when reading or at night time.
Cataracts are a common ailment, especially among the elderly. Other causes include diabetes, smoking, steroid use and trauma to the eye from sunlight or force. Cataracts can be diagnosed through a vision test or examination with pupil dilation. While the symptoms of cataracts can be treated through temporary fixes (reading glasses, changing the amount of light around you), ultimately cataracts must be corrected through surgery. The good news is cataract surgery is safe and extremely effective!