A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Cataract Types: Nuclear Sclerotic, Cortical and Posterior Subscapular

by Damion Wasylow 9 September 2020 07:08 AM

three senior women on vacation
While cataracts can be congenital (meaning they are present from birth), they are typically associated with aging. As we age, proteins can build up in the eye or fiber cells may be disrupted, leading to cataracts. Other environmental, health and diet issues can also contribute to cataract development.

There are three primary types of age-related cataracts, all of which require surgery to correct:

Nuclear Sclerotic Cataracts

Nuclear sclerotic cataracts are most common. This form of cataract begins in the middle of the eye and hardens the eye lens. As these cataracts progress, the lens becomes cloudy and may appear yellow or brown. Distance vision is the first thing to go. Some patients initially experience improvement in close-up vision, a condition commonly called “second sight,” but this is only temporary. If the lens is not replaced, over time, vision can be lost completely. 

Cortical Cataracts

Cortical cataracts start in the eye lens cortex (the outside edge of the lens). They form lines that then move towards the center of the lens, like the spokes of a wheel. Vision can be affected in various ways, depending on exact location and prominence of these spokes. Glare from intense light sources, such as car headlights, is common. Cortical cataracts may progress quickly or remain unchanged for extended periods.

Posterior Subscapular Cataracts

Posterior subscapular cataracts start as small cloudy or opaque areas on the back surface of the eye lens, beneath the lens capsule that encloses and holds the lens in place. Posterior subscapular cataracts often develop quickly, with symptoms increasingly noticeable within just a few months. Increased light sensitivity, halos, glare and reduced vision are all common.

Regardless of the type of cataract, surgery is the only effective treatment option. All forms of cataracts permanently damage the eye lens, making it necessary to replace the natural lens with an artificial lens implant in order to restore vision. Artificial lenses are not susceptible to cataracts, meaning that following surgery, cataracts cannot return 

Thankfully, cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures in the world, and is recognized as being safe and effective. Today, many patients elect to have laser-assisted cataract surgery, making the procedure more precise and pain-free than ever.

If you or someone you love may be experiencing cataracts, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care. Our experts can diagnose your specific type of cataracts and determine if now is the best time for you to consider your cataract surgical options. Call us today at 352-373-4300.

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