Three types of cataracts and their treatments

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Cataract refers to the clouding on the eye’s natural lens, which is caused by the proteins’ abnormal clustering on the lens. While the lens is responsible for perceiving clear vision, cataracts make it hard to see clearly. Cataracts are usually seen in old people, since their eyes’ ever well-arranged proteins are more probably to clump together due to physical aging. But a common sense is that cataract can still be congenital or secondary. Genetic factors or medications can be underlying causes.

Three types of cataract affecting different eye parts

Different types of cataracts affect different parts of the lens. A subcapsular cataract affects the back of the lens. A cortical cataract forms in the lens’ cortex. Associated with aging, a nuclear cataract is the most common type that forms in the nucleus. Moreover, there are still different causes of these three types of cataract. Subcapsular cataract may result from diabetes, high hyperopia and high doses of steroids. Diabetes is also a major contributor to cortical cataract.

Regular and unusual symptoms of cataracts

Common symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, more glaring light and darker colors. In detail, cataracts usually cause blurred vision just like there is a piece of cloud in front of the eyes. The sunlight or headlights from a night car will bring much more glare to people with cataracts. Certain cases of cataract even have strange symptoms. At an early stage of a nuclear cataract, people’s vision may undergo a process of slight improvement. Of course, the final development of all cataracts will result in vision deterioration or even vision loss.

Recognized and suspected reasons for cataract formation

There is a huge variety of factors that may or surely cause cataracts. The most widely recognized one is UV exposure, so that UV-blocking sunglasses are widely recommended by eye care practitioners and used by the public to minimize this risk. It is found that pilots and astronauts with much cosmic radiation exposure are more probably to suffer from nuclear cataract, so that cosmic radiation is considered as a risk. Cigarette smoke, air pollution, heavy consumption of alcohol and lead exposure are also suspected to cause cataracts.

Some other possible causes and cataracts classification

Other factors involve drugs, foods and diseases. Some ECPs suggest that diabetes patients are more likely to have cataracts. Steroids, diuretics and major tranquilizers are still potential contributors to cataracts. A diet high in vitamin A, C and E, and salt may accelerate the development of cataracts. According to the different reasons for cataract described above, it is possible to classify cataract cases into three categories: age-related, congenital and secondary. While age-related cataracts cases account for a majority, the other two categories are also worth enough attention.

Eyewear products and cataract surgery offer help to cataract patients

To remove just the visual symptoms of cataracts, patients can use eyeglasses, strong bifocals, magnifiers and other vision aids. But for patients who have developed severe cataracts, they can resort to a cataract surgery, which is the most widely performed surgery in the U.S. A cataract surgery usually replaces the clouded lens with a new plastic intraocular lens (IOL). Currently, more advanced IOLs such as presbyopia-correcting IOL and UV blocking IOL are available. Thus more vision benefits are available. The most exciting advantage of cataract surgery is its high rate of success. It is proved that 90% of patients who receive cataract surgery can get their vision restored back to between 20/20 and 20/40.