What are the Three Types of Cataracts

If left untreated, a cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye caused by protein building in the body, which results in impaired vision and blindness. Nuclear sclerotic, cortical, and posterior subcapsular cataracts are the three main forms of cataracts.

3 Different Types of Cataracts

Nuclear Cataracts: The most common type of cataract, a nuclear cataract, starts with a gradual hardness and yellowing of the central zone of the lens, commonly known as the nucleus. This yellowing and hardness will spread to the other layers of the lens over time.

Cortical Cataracts: A cortical cataract develops in the cortex, the lens’ shell layer, and gradually stretches its “spokes” from the lens’ periphery to the centre. These cracks can scatter light entering the eye, resulting in impaired vision, glare, contrast, and depth perception issues. Diabetics are at an increased risk of getting cortical cataracts.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts: This type of cataract begins as a small opaque or foggy region on the posterior (rear surface) of the lens, mostly impacting reading and night vision. It’s called subcapsular because it develops beneath the lens capsule, which is a tiny sac or membrane that surrounds and secures the lens.

1. Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract

What is Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract?

The most common type of cataract is a nuclear cataract, which starts with a gradual hardness and yellowing of the core zone of the lens, commonly known as the nucleus. This yellowing and hardness will spread to the other layers of the lens over time. As the cataract advances, the eye’s ability to focus changes, and close-up vision (for reading or other close activities) may improve briefly. Second sight is the name given to this condition, however, the eyesight improvement it brings is not permanent. A nuclear sclerotic cataract develops slowly and may take several years before it begins to interfere with vision.

Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract – Causes

  • Proteins in your lens naturally break down over time, causing nuclear sclerosis. In this situation, they clump together, generating hardness that prevents light from flowing through the lens centre to the retina.
  • The retina processes light and sends impulses to the brain, which allows it to register images. Because nuclear sclerosis reduces the amount of light passing through the centre of the lens, the retina has less “information” to process.
  • Your nuclear sclerosis will eventually turn into an NS cataract as you get older. Cataracts can be caused by trauma or disease, in addition to ageing.
  • Nuclear sclerotic cataracts, the most frequent type of age-related cataracts, are highly common. Changes to different areas of the lens cause several types of cataracts.
  • NS cataracts induced by age are sometimes referred to as nuclear senile cataracts to distinguish them from other types of cataracts.

Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract – Symptoms

  • As an NS cataract develops, you or someone close to you may notice a change in the appearance of your eye (cloudiness, yellowing, browning). It could also be discovered during a physical or eye checkup by a healthcare provider.
  • Initially, you may only develop a cataract in one eye. You’ll most likely develop one in the opposite eye as well.
  • Depending on the severity of the clouding, a nuclear sclerotic cataract can be characterised as either immature or mature. Untreated nuclear sclerotic cataracts can result in blindness in severe situations.
  • Cataracts are the major cause of blindness in both developed and developing countries.

2. Cortical Cataract – Overview

What is Cortical Cataract?

A cortical cataract develops in the cortex, the lens’ outer layer, and gradually stretches its “spokes” from the lens’ periphery to the centre. These cracks can scatter light entering the eye, resulting in impaired vision, glare, contrast, and depth perception issues. Diabetics are at an increased risk of getting cortical cataracts.

Light entering the eye is scattered as the state of the cortical cataract increases, resulting in blurred vision. Cortical senile cataracts can progress in one of two ways: they can progress slowly and stay the same for a long time, or they can progress quickly.

Cortical Cataract – Causes

As light passes through the lens, a cortical cataract distributes it randomly, generating glare and light sensitivity. It also reduces the amount of light reaching the retina, resulting in blurry vision and a lack of colour and depth sense. Because of the position and nature of the opacities, cortical cataract symptoms emerge early. The following are some of the signs and symptoms:

  • When driving at night, glare from light sources such as headlights
  • Bright light sensitivity
  • Lights with halo effects
  • Reduced vision
  • Colour perception is altered.
  • Perception of depth is difficult.
  • In low light, the capacity to see contrast decreases.

Cortical Cataract – Symptoms

Here are some of the key symptoms of Cortical Cataracts:

  • Hazy vision
  • Severe glare from sources of light
  • Difficulty in telling similar colours apart
  • Difficulty in judging how far an object is placed
  • Possible double vision in the affected eye – monocular diplopia

 3. Posterior Subcapsular cataract – Overview

What is Posterior Subcapsular Cataract?

This type of cataract is more likely to develop if you have diabetes or have excessive nearsightedness. Steroid users, whether recreationally or as part of medical treatment, are at an increased risk. You will first notice problems in your night vision if you have posterior subcapsular cataracts. With this cataract, you may have more difficulty reading. This cataract develops swiftly, usually over months rather than years. If you suspect you have cataracts, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor for a thorough examination.

Posterior Subcapsular cataract – Causes

It is critical to understand the numerous causes before undergoing any treatment. This not only aids in proper treatment and healing but also teaches you how to avoid the source of future cataracts. Some of the causes of posterior subcapsular cataracts are listed below:

  • Ageing
  • Long-term administration of steroid medicines
  • Trauma that isn’t subtle
  • Inflammation of the eyeball
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Atopic dermatitis, for example, is a type of dermatitis that affects the skin.

Posterior Subcapsular cataract – Symptoms

The posterior subcapsular cataract develops the fastest of all the cataract forms. As a result, it’s critical to be on the lookout for any signs of symptoms. Some of the signs of a posterior subcapsular cataract include:

  • Vision blurriness
  • Especially when exposed to bright lights, such as headlights at night, glare and halos might occur.
  • Near vision impairment
  • In some circumstances, diplopia or polyopia may be present.
  • Reduced sensitivity to contrast

Other Types Of Cataracts

Cataracts come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Nuclear Cataracts: At first, a nuclear cataract may result in increased nearsightedness or even a transient improvement in reading vision. However, as time passes, the lens becomes more thickly yellow, obscuring your eyesight even more.

Cortical Cataracts: Cortical cataracts are characterised by whitish, wedge-shaped opacities or streaks on the lens cortex’s outer edge. The streaks gradually expand to the centre of the lens, interfering with light flowing through the centre.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts: A posterior subcapsular cataract begins as a small, opaque region near the back of the lens, directly in the path of light. A posterior subcapsular cataract can create glare or halos surrounding lights at night, interfere with reading vision, and impair vision in bright light. These types of cataracts progress more quickly than others.

Congenital Cataracts: Cataracts are congenital, meaning that some people are born with them or acquire them as children. These cataracts could be hereditary, or they could be the result of intrauterine infection or trauma. Certain diseases, such as myotonic dystrophy, galactosemia, neurofibromatosis type 2 or rubella, can cause cataracts. Congenital cataracts don’t often cause vision problems, but if they do, they’re usually removed as soon as they’re discovered.

When to See Eye Specialist

We all know how crucial it is to have regular eye checkups. Adults should get their eyes examined at least every two years, however, your optometrist may advise you to come in more frequently. Regular eye exams improve your eyes in the same way that regular car tune-ups benefit your car. Adults between the ages of 20 and 39 who have healthy eyes should see their eye doctor every 2 to 3 years. Adults between the ages of 40 and 64 should see their eye doctor every two years, while adults above 64 should see their eye doctor once a year.

Looking to Improve Your Sight?

When the lens of the eye becomes clouded, light entering through the eye becomes scattered and unfocused, resulting in a cataract. Because the natural eye lens is made up of water and protein, some proteins can become discoloured as the eye ages, causing vision blurring. DLEI Center provides the best eye care.

Get access to advanced & low cost cataract treatments in Pune or call us for more details 20-26345710.

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