In the simplest of terms, a cataract is a condition generally characterized by a clouding of the lens of the eye, which eventually leads to vision problems. Although majority of cataract victims are old people, it can also afflict younger people; especially if the cause is congenital, secondary, or traumatic. Surgery is usually required to correct the problem. Below is a quick overview of the types of cataracts:
- Nuclear cataract – This is the most common type of cataract, and it’s characterized by the gradual yellowing and hardening of the center of the lens. If neglected, this will slowly expand into the outer layers of the lens.
- Cortical cataract – Unlike a nuclear cataract, a cortical cataract begins at the peripheries of the lens, then works its way into the center of the lens. Its color is opaque white and it has the shape of a wedge. Most victims of this type are old people.
- Posterior capsular cataract – This develops at the back of the lens, but it advances much faster compared to the nuclear and cortical types. People suffering from illnesses like diabetes are more susceptible to this condition.
- Congenital cataract – This is when a baby is born with cataract already forming in his eyes. Or when a child develops the condition early in his childhood.
- Secondary cataract – If you get the condition due to a disease or to the medicines you are taking, it’s categorized as secondary. The most common diseases linked with secondary cataract include diabetes and glaucoma.
- Traumatic cataract – When the eye is subjected to physical injury, the lens can get compromised, leading to a cataract. It usually takes years post-injury before the symptoms appear and be noticed by the victim.
- Radiation cataract – Most of the people affected by this are cancer patients who are undergoing radiation treatment. Radiation weakens the lens, causing it to grow cloudy. All of these types of cataracts share the same common symptoms. These symptoms are as follows:
- Blurry and cloudy vision.
- Seeing faded colors.
- Problems in seeing things at night.
- Enhanced eye sensitivity to lights and glare.
- Seeing double images through the affected eye.
- Seeing halos around lights.
- Frequent changes in your prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses.
A cataract can turn into total loss of vision if it’s not treated as soon as possible. With that in mind, it’s highly recommended that you see an eye specialist the moment you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above. The earlier you are diagnosed, the more chances you have in getting it fully treated, either via surgery or medication.