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Understanding the Different Types of Cataracts

Understanding the Different Types of Cataracts

Cataracts are a common vision problem where the lens of your eye (the part behind your iris) becomes cloudy because of changes to the proteins and fibers in the lens. 

Cataracts can cause blurry or hazy vision, light sensitivity, light halos, and trouble seeing at night. Cataracts can make nighttime driving dangerous.

The good news is that cataracts can be treated surgically. Of the more than 20 million Americans with cataracts, about 6 million have had surgery to restore clear vision. During surgery, your cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).

Our expert providers here at Maryland Eye Care Center offer several types of IOLs at our Silver Spring and Hyattsville, Maryland, locations. If you’re struggling with cataracts, we can help.

Below, learn more about the types of cataracts and how our team can restore clear vision.

Nuclear sclerotic cataracts

Nuclear sclerotic cataracts are the most common type. These cataracts form in the center of your lens (nucleus) and are commonly associated with aging. Your normally crystalline lens starts to yellow and harden.

Nuclear cataracts change your vision, for example, decreasing clarity and vibrancy. These cataracts develop slowly over time.

Cortical cataracts

Cortical cataracts form in the shell of your lens, known as the cortex. As this type grows, it can lead to difficulty with night vision, glare, light halos, and contrast sensitivity.

Cortical cataracts are associated with aging but can also result from UV radiation exposure, diabetes, or the prolonged use of medications like corticosteroids. Treatment typically involves surgically removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial IOL to restore clear vision. 

Posterior subcapsular cataracts 

Posterior subcapsular cataracts are often linked to conditions like diabetes or specific medications. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of this cataract type.

Posterior subcapsular cataracts tend to impact near vision more than distance. Symptoms may include difficulty reading, sensitivity to light, and decreased night vision.

Less common types of cataracts 

Other types of cataracts include:

Regardless of what type of cataract you have, the result is still vision trouble. If you’re struggling with any vision issue, don’t wait for it to worsen before seeking help.

Get help for your cataracts 

During your exam, your Maryland Eye Care Center provider reviews your symptoms and examines your eyes. After determining the type and severity of your cataracts, they recommend the most effective treatment approach.

Mild cataracts may be monitored and managed with eyeglasses, while more severe cases may benefit from surgery.

Questions? To learn more or to schedule a cataract consultation, call the location nearest you or request an appointment online today.

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