Cataracts are a common eye problem that can occur in both adults and children. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. There are several different types of cataracts, all of which have different causes and symptoms. In this blog post, we will discuss the three most common types of cataracts: nuclear cataracts, cortical cataracts, and posterior subcapsular cataracts. We will also talk about the treatment options available for each type of cataract.
What Is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. The lens is responsible for focusing light onto the retina, which is the back surface of the eye where images are formed. When a cataract develops, images become blurred.
A cataract occurs when proteins in the eye’s lens clump together and block or scatter light. Cataracts typically develop slowly and can affect one or both eyes. They are very common in older adults. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had surgery to remove one.
Most cataracts form gradually and don’t disturb your vision early on. An early sign may be a need for more light when you read or do close-up work. You may have trouble seeing at night.
You may notice that colors seem faded and that glare from headlights, lamps, or the sun bothers you more than it used to. A cataract usually affects both eyes, but generally, only one eye is affected at a time.
Cataracts are treated with surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens. More than 90 percent of people who have cataract surgery experience improved vision afterward. Surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home the same day.
Different Types of Cataracts
Many different types of cataracts can develop, each with its own set of symptoms and treatment options. Some of these types are:
Nucular sclerotic cataracts are the most common type of cataracts, and they tend to form gradually as we age. This type of cataract affects the center of the lens, making it appear yellow or brown. Nuclear sclerotic cataracts can cause blurry vision and make it difficult to see at night. In this type of cataract, the pupil may also appear larger than normal. Nuclear sclerotic cataracts are treated with surgery.
Cortical cataracts form at the edges of the lens and can cause the appearance of spokes radiating from the center of your vision. This type of cataract can make it difficult to see objects clearly and can cause glare. Cortical cataracts are treated with surgery. This type of cataract is more common in diabetics. Cortical cataracts are also more common in people who have had previous eye injuries or inflammation.
Posterior subcapsular cataracts form on the back surface of the lens and can cause symptoms such as glare and difficulty seeing at night. This type of cataract is more common in people with diabetes, high myopia, or those who take certain medications such as steroids. Posterior subcapsular cataracts are treated with surgery.
Congenital cataracts are present at birth or develop in early childhood. These cataracts can be caused by infection during pregnancy, genetic disorders, or trauma to the eye during childbirth. Congenital cataracts are treated with surgery.
Traumatic cataracts can develop after an injury to the eye. These cataracts can be caused by a blow to the head, penetrating eye injury, or radiation exposure. Traumatic cataracts are treated with surgery. In this type of cataract, the pupil may also appear larger than normal.
Subcapsular cataracts form under the lens capsule, which is the clear outer covering of the lens. This type of cataract can cause vision to become blurred and make it difficult to see at night. People with diabetes or those taking high doses of steroids are at a higher risk for developing this type of cataract. Subcapsular cataracts are treated with surgery.
How Are Different Types of Cataracts Diagnosed?
A comprehensive dilated eye exam is the best way for your doctor to check for cataracts and other vision problems. In this exam, your doctor will use a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and optic nerve for signs of damage and other eye problems. Your pupils will be dilated so that your doctor can better assess the health of your internal eye structures. After the examination, you may experience blurry vision for a few hours as your pupils return to their normal size.
If your doctor suspects you have a cataract, they may recommend additional testing, such as:
- A visual acuity test: This measures how well you see at various distances.
- A tonometry test: This measures the pressure inside your eye.
- An autorefraction or retinoscopy: These tests help determine your eyeglass prescription.
- Pupil dilation and fundus photography: These tests provide detailed images of the inside of your eye.
Your doctor will also ask about your medical history and any medications you’re taking, as some can increase your risk of developing cataracts. There can also be other causes of your symptoms, such as refractive errors or age-related macular degeneration. Therefore, it’s important to have a comprehensive eye examination to rule out other conditions.
Common Signs of Types of Cataract
There are many common signs of types of cataracts. Some of these common signs are:
A cloudy or fuzzy appearance to your vision
One of the signs of a cataract is that you will have a cloudy or fuzzy appearance in your vision.
This happens because the cataract has begun to block some of the light that would normally enter your eye. This can make it difficult for you to see clearly, especially when looking at objects far away.
A change in the color of your eyesight
If you have cataracts, you may also notice a change in the color of your eyesight. This is because the cataract changes how light enters your eye, which can cause colors to appear different than they did before.
For example, if you have a blue cataract, objects may appear yellowish-brown instead of their true color. It also may become more difficult for you to tell the difference between similar colors, such as blue and purple.
Poor night vision
Another common sign of a cataract is poor night vision. This happens because the cataract makes it more difficult for your eye to adjust to changes in light. As a result, you may have trouble seeing clearly when it’s darker outside or when you’re driving at night. Sometimes there maybe
You may also notice that you’re more sensitive to glare from oncoming headlights.
Glare and halos around lights
You may also notice that there is glare or halos around lights. This can happen when the cataract blocks some of the light that enters your eye. The result is that you see a halo or glare around objects, which can be especially bothersome when you’re driving at night.
Frequent changes in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription
If you have a cataract, you may also find that you need to change your eyeglass or contact lens prescription more frequently than usual. This is because the cataract can cause your eye to change shape, which affects how light enters your eye and how well you see.
Eye pain or redness
In some cases, a cataract can cause eye pain or redness. However, this is usually only the case if the cataract is advanced and causing significant vision problems. If you experience any pain or redness in your eyes, it’s important to see an eye doctor right away.
Another symptom of an advanced cataract is a constant headache. This happens because the cataract can cause your eyes to work harder to see, which can lead to strain and headaches. If you have a headache that doesn’t go away or gets worse over time, it’s important to see an eye doctor to rule out other causes.
These are just some of the signs that you may have a cataract. If you notice any changes in your vision, it’s important to see an eye doctor for a comprehensive exam.
Causes of Different Types of Cataract
There are many different causes of the different types of cataracts.
One of the main causes of cataracts is age. As people get older, the protein fibers in the lens start to break down and clump together. This makes the lens thicker and less flexible, which eventually leads to clouding. Sometimes there may be many small clumps of protein, while other times there may be large clumps.
Cataracts can also be caused by genetics. This means that if your parents or grandparents had cataracts, you’re more likely to develop them as well. Also, genetics is one of the causes of different types of cataracts.
For example, people with Down syndrome are more likely to develop a cataract in their twenties or thirties. Those with other genetic conditions, such as Marfan syndrome or Stickler syndrome, may also be at increased risk.
Several medical conditions can increase your risk of developing cataracts. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Certain medications can also cause cataracts or make them worse. These include steroids, certain antipsychotic drugs, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
In some cases, trauma to the eye can cause a cataract. This includes both physical trauma, such as a blow to the head, and chemical trauma, such as being hit in the eye with a strong acid. These also include different types of cataracts.
For example, a blow to the head can cause a subcapsular cataract, which is when the lens protein clumps together at the back of the lens. A chemical burn can cause an anterior polar cataract, which is when the protein clumps together in the front of the lens.
Certain medications can also increase your risk of developing cataracts. These include steroids, antipsychotic drugs, and certain antibiotics.
Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can also damage the lens and lead to cataracts. This is why it’s important to wear sunglasses that block UV rays when you’re outdoors.
An important cause of cataracts is diabetes. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the lens, which leads to clouding. People with diabetes are also more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age than those without diabetes.
Smoking is another important cause of cataracts. Studies have shown that smokers are two to three times more likely to develop cataracts than nonsmokers. Smoking also increases your risk of developing other types of eye problems, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Diagnosis of Different Types of Cataracts
Diagnosis of cataracts usually starts with a comprehensive eye exam by an ophthalmologist, who is a medical doctor specializing in eye care.
During the exam, the doctor will:
- Evaluate your vision
- Conduct tests to look for signs of cataracts or other eye problems
- Ask about your medical history and any medications you take
- After the exam, the doctor may recommend treatment options. Surgery is the only way to remove cataracts and improve vision.
Doctors may evaluate the severity of cataracts using the following scale:
- Grade I: Small, not causing vision problems
- Also, Grade II: Moderate, causing mild vision problems
- Grade III: Large, causing significant vision problems
- Grade IV: Severe, interfering with daily activities such as reading or driving.
One should visit a doctor for the diagnosis of cataracts as soon as one experiences any vision problems.
Cataracts usually develop slowly and painlessly, so it is important to have regular eye exams so that the doctor can monitor the cataract’s progression and recommend treatment when necessary. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more serious vision problems later on.
Different Treatment Methods For Types of Cataracts
Treating cataracts depends on the severity of your vision loss and how much it’s impacting your daily life. In some cases, glasses or contact lenses may help improve your vision. If cataracts are causing more significant vision problems, you may need surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial one.
Some of these treatment methods are:
There are two main types of surgery for cataracts: traditional cataract surgery and laser-assisted cataract surgery. During traditional cataract surgery, your surgeon will make a small incision in your eye and manually remove the cloudy lens. With laser-assisted surgery, a computer is used to guide a laser beam to make the incisions in the eye. This type of surgery is often used for people who have hard-to-treat cataracts.
Cataract surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis, which means you won’t have to stay in the hospital overnight. The entire procedure takes about an hour, and most people go home the same day. Recovery from cataract surgery is typically quick, with most people regaining full vision within a few weeks.
Intraocular Lens Implants
After your cloudy lens is removed during cataract surgery, it will be replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). IOLs are made of flexible plastic and come in a variety of types, including standard, multifocal, and accommodating. Standard IOLs correct for distance vision only, while multifocal IOLs correct for both distance and near vision. Accommodating IOLs are designed to work like your natural lens, giving you the ability to focus on objects at all distances.
The type of IOL that’s best for you will depend on your individual needs and lifestyle. Your surgeon will discuss the different types of IOLs with you and help you choose the one that’s right for you.
One of the most common treatments for cataracts is the use of eye drops. These drops help to lubricate the eye and prevent the formation of new cataracts. There are a variety of different types of eye drops available, so it is important to speak with your doctor about which type is right for you. These eye drops also help to prevent the formation of new cataracts.
Another treatment options are contact lenses. There are two types of contact lenses: hard and soft. Hard contact lenses are made of a rigid, gas-permeable material. They allow oxygen to reach the cornea, which is important for eye health. Soft contact lenses are made of a flexible material that conforms to the shape of your eye. They’re the most popular type of contact lens because they’re comfortable to wear.
Cataracts are a common cause of vision loss, but with early diagnosis and treatment, many people can maintain good vision. There are different types of cataracts, each with its own set of symptoms and treatment options. If you think you or a loved one may have a cataract, be sure to see an eye doctor for a comprehensive exam. With proper care, you can keep your vision clear for years to come.
Cataract surgery is a safe and painless procedure. At EyeMantra we have a team of experienced eye surgeons, who will be happy to answer your any questions on cataract surgery, cataract surgery cost, cataract lens cost for different cataract surgery types- Phacoemulsification, MICS & Femto Laser Cataract. Call us at +91-9711116605 or email at [email protected] for inquiries.