What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are the clouding of the lens inside our eyes due to protein buildup. The usually clear lens refracts light rays into the eyes to help us see. There are three main types of cataracts:
Type 1: Nuclear Sclerotic Cataracts
Nuclear sclerotic cataracts are the most common type of cataracts and progress slowly over time. This type of cataract begins by hardening and yellowing the central area of the lens. Eventually, it will expand to other layers of the lens.
Type 2: Cortical Cataracts
Cortical cataracts start with white streaks on the outside edge of the lens. These streaks, commonly called spokes, gradually expand to the center of the lens.
Type 3: Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts
Posterior subcapsular cataracts are small cloudy areas that form on the back surface beneath the lens capsule.
How are Cataracts diagnosed?
An Optometrist or an Ophthalmologist generally diagnoses cataracts during an eye examination. During the eye examination, the doctor will use a slit lamp to examine your cornea, iris, and lens. Typically, they will perform a retinal exam and dilate your eyes. The dilation widens the pupils allowing the doctor to see the back of the eye.
What are the symptoms of Cataracts?
The most common symptoms of cataracts are:
● Cloudy, blurry, or dim vision
● Sensitivity to light and glare
● Halo around light sources.
● Double or overlapped vision
What is the treatment for Cataracts?
Cataracts can be removed with surgery. Currently, there is no non-surgical treatment for cataracts. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens. Generally, cataract surgery is a safe, outpatient procedure.
Cataracts are the number one cause of blindness in the world and are continually linked to UV exposure.