Dr. Jim Martin 06/02/2016

3typesofcataracts.pngCataracts are among the most common causes of vision loss, particularly in people who are over 40 years old. They occur when proteins in the eye build up and prevent your eye's lens from sending clear images to the retina. Cataracts typically develop slowly over time and usually only form in one eye at a time.

What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts can form due to several underlying issues, including the normal aging process, certain diseases such as diabetes, trauma to the eye, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, long-term use of steroids and other medications, and even smoking.

Are There Different Types Of Cataracts?

Nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular are the most common types of cataracts and are classified depending on where and how they develop in your eye.

Nuclear Sclerotic Cataracts
Related primarily to the aging process, this type of cataract is caused by the hardening and yellowing of the lens over time. Nuclear cataracts form in the middle of the lens, with nuclear referring to the gradual clouding of that portion of the eye, and sclerotic referring to the hardening of the lens nucleus. This type of cataract develops slowly and it may be years before it begins to affect your vision.

Cortical Cataracts
This type of cataract refers to cloudy areas, also known as white opacities, that develop in the lens cortex (the outer edge of the lens). Changes in the water content of the lens fibers create fissures that can scatter the light that enters the eye. This, in turn, creates problems with blurred vision, glare, depth perception and contrast. People with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing cortical cataracts.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts
Subcapsular cataracts form beneath the lens capsule and begins as a cloudy or opaque area on the back surface of the lens. This type of cataract can cause halo effects and glare around lights, as well as hindering reading. People who use steroids, have diabetes, and are extremely nearsighted can develop posterior subcapsular cataracts. They can develop rapidly and become noticeable within months.

If you’re having vision issues, contact Broome Optical in Amarillo for an appointment. We diagnose and treat cataracts and many other eye diseases.

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