A cataract is a clouding of the eye caused by a breakdown of proteins and fibers in the eye’s lens.. It’s one of the most common vision impairments, affecting more than 20.5 million Americans over the age of 40. By 65, more than 90 percent of people in the U.S. will develop some level of cataracts.
What are the different types of cataracts?
There are 3 primary types of cataracts:
- Nuclear Sclerotic Cataracts: These are the most common type of cataracts. They begin in the nucleus, or central part of the eye’s lens, and then expand outward. As the cataract progresses, the lens will become cloudy and may appear yellow or brown. A phenomenon called “second vision” often occurs, where up-close vision becomes clearer, while distance vision suffers. This is only temporary. Failure to replace the lens may result in blindness.
- Cortical Cataracts: Cortical cataracts work in the opposite direction of Nuclear Sclerotic cataracts. They start on the edges of the eye and work their way toward the middle. They begin as whitish streaks on the outer edge of the lens, which often cause the person to experience glare from bright lights.
- Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts: These cataracts develop on the back surface of the eye’s lens, beneath the lens capsule. They often develop quickly and begin to obstruct vision in a matter of months.
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