Most people have heard of cataracts and understand that they can often affect people as they age. However, did you know that this problem can affect more than one out of every two people over the age of 80? Given that the risks are higher for you if you are approaching that age bracket, what do you need to know about the different types of cataracts and how they can affect your vision?
Defining the Problem
A cataract is typically caused by a build-up of protein within the body which can migrate to the lens of the eye and cause deterioration. There are three different types of cataracts.
Posterior Subcapsular Cataract
The posterior subcapsular cataract can often affect people who already have issues with their eyesight, such as acute near-sightedness. In this case, the "clouding" effect begins on the back surface of the lens in between the lens and the capsule that holds it in place. Patients will notice a halo effect around a distant lamp post or may find it particularly difficult to deal with oncoming headlights when they are driving. The symptoms can develop quite quickly with this condition.
With the cortical cataract, the cloudiness begins around the outside of the lens and migrates inward. It may not affect the entire surface of the lens, and this can cause the incoming light to scatter, leading to difficulties with depth perception as well as double or blurred vision. People who suffer from diabetes may be at a higher risk of developing this type of cataract.
Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract
Thirdly, a nuclear sclerotic cataract, which is the most common, begins in the centre of the lens and causes hardening and yellowing. Gradually, this will spread across the lens to the outer edge and, as it does so, will make it very difficult for the sufferer to focus or read a book. Usually, this type of cataract takes a long time to develop, and you may not even notice any symptoms in the early days.
Regular Appointments Are Important
As you can see, one type of cataract can develop quickly while another may not be noticeable. In any case, it's important to schedule regular visits to a cataract doctor so they can watch out for cataract development. They can refer you to a specialist surgeon for further advice if they find evidence. Thankfully, cataract surgery is relatively simple these days, does not take long to perform and has a very high success rate. Contact a doctor for more information regarding cataract surgery.