What is a Cataract?

A cataract is an occlusion or clouded area on the lens of the eye. It’s not painful, nor is it particularly life threatening, but it does generally diminish the quality of one’s vision.

How Do Cataracts Form?

There are a number of causes for cataracts. The most common is aging.  As people get older, the lenses in the eyes become less flexible, which can lead to parts of the lens hardening and becoming a cataract.

In some cases, the cataract develops as a congenital condition early on in life or as a consequence of certain conditions, such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Injuries to the eye or even post-operative recovery from eye surgery can also cause cataracts to form. Even repeated and sustained exposure to radiation, such as from tanning beds or multiple X-rays to the head, can cause cataracts.

What are the Symptoms Of Cataracts?

Common cataract symptoms include blurred vision, degraded night vision, increased “glare” from bright light sources such as the sun or headlights, and difficulty distinguishing colors properly. Double vision in one eye is also possible.

Additionally, some people with cataracts (particularly if they’re in the early stages of forming) experience a symptom that is oddly beneficial: Called “second sight,” the cataract acts similar to a bifocal lens, giving improved near vision for a time.

How Many Types Of Cataracts Exist?

The known types of cataracts are as follows:

  • Nuclear: Cataracts that form right in the center of the lens;
  • Cortical: Cataracts that form from the outside edges of the lens and move inward;
  • Posterior subcapsular: Cataracts that form at the back of the lens along the path light takes through the lens;
  • Traumatic: Cataracts formed after an injury to the eye;
  • Secondary: Cataracts formed after eye surgery or as a result of illnesses;
  • Congenital: Cataracts formed at birth or shortly thereafter;
  • Radiation: Cataracts formed due to prolonged or repeated radiological exposure (UV or X-rays, most commonly).

If you seem to be suffering from the above symptoms, or even if you just want to make sure your eyes are still good, give Eye to Eye Care a call and schedule an appointment.


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