Cataracts can blur your vision and make everything seem dull or cloudy, but did you know there are different types of cataracts? Understanding these distinct types is essential in identifying potential problems and knowing what to expect when it comes to treatment. In this post, we discuss the types of cataracts and how they are diagnosed.
Types of Cataracts
Cataracts are a common eye condition, impacting millions of Americans every year. They occur when the eye’s lens becomes clouded, causing a reduction in vision quality. Cataracts can form in one or both eyes and occur in people of varying ages. Here are the three main types.
Nuclear cataracts are one common type, forming in the center of the lens known as the nucleus. They tend to develop slowly over time, causing a gradual loss of vision. Its primary symptom is a temporary improvement in near vision or a phenomenon known as “second sight.”
Cortical cataracts form in the outer edges of the lens, called the cortex. They’re characterized by white, wedge-like opacities that begin in the periphery of the lens and work their way toward the center. They typically cause problems such as glare, blurring and light scatter.
Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts
These cataracts begin at the back of the lens. They can affect people of all ages and often progress more quickly than other types. Symptoms might include reduced vision in bright light and a noticeably decreased visual acuity.
How Cataracts Are Diagnosed
Cataracts are routinely diagnosed by eye doctors using a range of standard tests, including a review of the patient’s medical history, visual acuity tests and a dilated eye exam. Dilating the eye allows the doctor to assess the lens’s clarity. Additionally, tonometry measures eye pressure, and a slit-lamp examination examines the eye’s structures. These tests help determine the cataract’s size, location and extent of vision impairment. Regular eye check-ups are crucial in detecting cataracts early and managing them effectively.
Treatment Options for Cataracts
Cataracts can significantly impact vision, but various treatment options are available depending on the cataract’s stage and severity. Initially, vision correction through new eyeglass prescriptions can help. As the cataract progresses and interferes with daily life, surgical removal is often recommended. Cataract surgery is a common and highly effective procedure, involving the removal of the clouded natural lens and its replacement with an artificial intraocular lens. Surgery can restore clear vision and improve the quality of life of those affected by cataracts.
For those interested in non-surgical interventions, orthokeratology is effective in retarding the progression of certain eye conditions. This treatment involves wearing specially designed contact lenses, which temporarily reshape your cornea to improve vision.
If you’re noticing any changes in your vision, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Insight Vision Center Optometry. Call (714) 486-3315 or visit our contact page to book a consultation and learn more about ortho-K. We serve patients in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, CA.