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Understanding the 3 Most Common Types of Cataracts

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Fri, Apr 26, 2019 @ 01:36 PM

types of cataractsA great many Americans are familiar with cataracts and the problems they cause.  A largely age-related eye condition, cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s lens that worsens with time.  As the condition progresses, it will lead to increased blurriness.  If left untreated, complete blindness can ultimately result.  In fact, cataracts are currently the leading cause of blindness worldwide. 

Fortunately, most patients do not progress to this point before they are able to have medical intervention.  When diagnosed and treated appropriately, cataracts do not have to steal vision.  They can be removed and managed effectively in order to reduce their impact on the patient and their capabilities. 

There are three common types of cataracts that may affect adults.  Identification will depend of factors such as location within the lens, degree of clouding, and the believed cause of the cataract.

Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract

This is the most common type of age-related cataract and affects the center of the lens.  The first signs are typically nearsightedness and even temporary improvement in vision from reading distance.  Over time, vision will become increasingly cloudy and the color of the lens will gradually progress to a dense yellow or even brown.

Cortical Cataract

This type of cataract affects the edge of the lens.  With a cortical cataract, there will typically be white streaks or opacities on the outer edge of the cortex of the lens.  These streaks will move toward the center of the lens as the cataract progresses.  Patients with cortical cataracts often report issues with glare.  Diabetic patients are at an increased risk for this type of cataract.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataract

This type of cataract affects the back of the lens.  It will normally begin as a small, opaque area that will interfere directly with light making its way to the retina.  With this cataract, there may be multiple issues including poor reading vision, halos, glare, and poor vision in bright light.  Risk factors for posterior subcapsular cataract include diabetes, steroid use, and extreme nearsightedness.

If you are among the many Americans suffering from vision impairment due to cataracts, there are many effective treatment options available to you.  These include laser and dropless cataract procedures, as well as a wide range of lens options based on your specific needs and budget.  To learn more about your cataracts and how to best address them, contact Eye Specialists of Louisiana and request a consultation.

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