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The Common Types of Cataracts

While the exact cause of a cataract can be hard to pinpoint, there are many known factors that often contribute to the formation of this eye problem. If you are older than 40, have diabetes or high blood pressure, smoke, or have spent a lot of your life in the sun, you’re at much greater odds of experiencing cataract development. And if you’ve noticed any of the telltale signs of cataracts like blurred vision, lights appearing more glaring or with halos around them, or less vibrant colors, it’s important to pay attention to these symptoms.

Whether you’re at risk, or have actually been diagnosed with cataracts, you might be thinking about the different types of cataract surgery that are available to you as well as what cataract surgery recovery time will be. There are three types of cataracts that are most common, so you can understand your unique condition fully and then make the most informed decision possible about your treatment. Here’s a look at each of the most prevalent types of cataracts.

Subcapsular Cataract

If you have diabetes or have been on some type of steroid-based medication for an extended period of time, you’re more likely to experience a subcapsular cataract. As the name indicates, this type of clouding occurs toward the back of the lens. You might notice that your reading and/or night vision are negatively affected, or vision that is poor when you’re in bright light. This can be a fast-moving cataract, as far as cataract development is concerned, so it’s extremely important that you see your eye doctor and make a treatment decision quickly.

Nuclear Cataract

This type of cataract is the one usually caused most by normal aging. It occurs typically in the middle of the eye, as the name “nuclear” suggests. An odd phenomenon sometimes accompanies this form of cataract, referred to occasionally as “second sight.” The effect is that an afflicted individual may experience an improvement with their nearsighted or reading vision. But this is a misleading vision change, as it’s only temporary and will soon become worse with further clouding. It can even change the color of your eye lens and, in doing so, can make it difficult for you to see the differences between colors.

Cortical Cataract

A cortical cataract is one that is known for interfering with the outermost edges of the eye lens. Your doctor might mention seeing white streaks or opaque wedges around the lens, which is a key indication of cortical cataracts. When left untreated, this one grows toward the center of the eye and can block light that’s coming through.

The good news about all of these types of cataracts is that, though they can be annoying to deal with initially, they are all treatable. And cataract surgery has high rates of success. Furthermore, cataract surgery recovery time is fairly quick and painless. On the flip side, letting cataracts go untreated can damage your vision and even lead to blindness. But if you take care of them as soon as possible, there will likely be little, if any, long-term impact to your vision. Contact us today to ask about our exams or to be checked for cataracts.