The Different Types of Cataracts

Cataracts are a buildup of material in the eye that leads to lens clouding, altering a person’s vision. However, not all cataracts are the same. In fact, there are multiple kinds of cataracts, each with a unique cause, appearance, and impact. If you’d like to know more, here is a quick overview of the different types of cataracts. 

Nuclear Cataracts 

Nuclear cataracts – also called nuclear sclerotic cataracts – are the most common type. They occur as the central part of the lens – known as the nucleus – begins to yellow and harden. Usually, these cataracts result in close-up vision changes and trouble seeing in low light. 

Cortical Cataracts 

With cortical cataracts, cataracts form in the cortex, the outer layer of the lens. As they develop, they grow inward, causing symptoms like halos, glare, blurriness, and depth perception issues. Additionally, they can affect near and distance vision, depending on how they progress. 

Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts 

Posterior subcapsular cataracts form along the back of the lens. Halos and glare are common side effects. They can also cause a person’s vision to look smudged. 

Compared to some other kinds of cataracts, posterior subscapular cataracts tend to form quickly. IN some cases, symptoms emerge within mere months of them beginning to form. 

Congenital Cataracts 

While cataracts are usually associated with aging, congenital cataracts are present at birth. Often, the cause of these cataracts is unknown. However, certain health conditions – including genetic issues, metabolic disorders, or inflammation – as well as infections, trauma, and specific medication reactions can be responsible. 

Radiation Cataracts 

In some cases, radiation exposure can cause cataracts. Along with radiation treatments for cancer, significant UV exposure may also lead to the condition. As a result, it can be relatively common in individuals who spend a substantial amount of time outdoors, particularly if they don’t consistently use reliable UV-blocking eye protection. 

Typically, radiation damage to cells on the posterior surface of the lens causes these types of cataracts, resulting in cloudy vision. After a high dose of radiation, symptoms can appear within just a couple of years. With lower doses, it tends to develop more slowly. 

Traumatic Cataracts 

At times, eye injuries can result in cataracts. Both blunt and sharp trauma may lead to the condition regardless of the person’s age. Additionally, they can affect a person’s vision in different ways depending on the nature of the trauma. For example, the point of impact or type of force may play a role in the cataract formation, making each presentation potentially unique. 

Choose a Board-Certified Ophthalmologist for Cataract Treatment

Ultimately, the world of cataracts is far more complex and varied than most people expect. That’s why seeing your eye doctor regularly is so vital. It allows your doctor to examine your eye for signs of the condition and intervene early if they find evidence of cataracts. 

Depending on the severity of the condition, cataract surgery might be necessary. While that might sound intimidating, cataract surgery is a common procedure. Additionally, ECVA has Board-Certified Ophthalmologists that are specifically trained and highly skilled in cataract surgery, offering a top-tier experience to patients when cataract surgical intervention is necessary. 

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patients’ eyes is our priority. If you are experiencing vision changes that could be related to cataracts or simply haven’t had an eye exam recently, we are here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today. 

5 Ways Diabetes Can Affect Your Vision and Health

If you have diabetes, you have a greater risk of developing certain eye diseases. By understanding what may occur, you can watch out for the signs and symptoms of the conditions. That way, you can seek prompt treatment, potentially preserving your vision. 

Here’s a look at five ways diabetes can affect your vision. 

1. Blurriness 

When most people experience blurry vision, they assume new prescription lenses are a necessity. However, if you have diabetes, blurriness might be a sign that your blood sugar is too high. 

High blood sugar can cause lens swelling. Once that happens, it alters your visual acuity, often resulting in blurriness. Usually, the blurry vision is temporary. After your blood sugar gets back into the normal range, the swelling should decrease, allowing you to see clearly again. 

If the blurriness happens when your blood sugar is within your target range or doesn’t clear up after your blood sugar drops, schedule an appointment with your doctor. That way, they can make sure it isn’t a symptom of another condition. 

2. Cataracts 

As people age, tissues within the eye can break down. The material can start clumping when that happens, creating cataracts that cloud the lens and reduce visual acuity. 

Cataracts are a common condition. Many people develop them over the course of their life, particularly as they get into their golden years. However, they tend to happen earlier in individuals with diabetes. Additionally, cases in diabetics are often more severe. 

If your vision seems cloudy, see your eye doctor. They can determine if cataracts are the cause and, if so, select the best course of action. 

3. Glaucoma 

Glaucoma is a condition where pressure builds up in the eye. Along with altering your vision, glaucoma may damage blood vessels and nerves. 

People with diabetes are more likely to develop glaucoma. Since symptoms often aren’t noticeable until the condition is severe, seeing your eye doctor regularly is a must. That allows them to look for changes indicating you have glaucoma, giving them a chance to intervene before you have significant vision loss. 

4. Diabetic Retinopathy 

Diabetic retinopathy is a medical condition where blood vessels in the retina weaken, causing leaks and fluid build-up. As the disease progresses, ischemia can occur, leading to the growth of abnormal blood vessels. 

As fluids continue leaking into the vitreous of the eye, tractional retinal detachment can occur. If that happens, severe and potentially permanent vision loss can occur. 

5. Macular Edema 

The macula is a portion of your eye that’s located in the center of the retina. If you have diabetic retinopathy, fluid can leak into the macula, and blood vessels can press into it. This causes the macula to swell, resulting in a condition called macular edema. 

Often, as macular edema progresses, visual acuity declines. The most common symptoms include wavy or fuzzy vision, preventing you from seeing clearly. 

Ultimately, proper eye care is essential for people with diabetes. By seeing your eye doctor regularly, they can monitor for changes that may indicate one of the conditions above, allowing them to intervene quickly. 

At ECVA, we take the health of our patients’ eyes seriously. If you have diabetes and haven’t had an eye exam recently, we are here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today. 

Family looking at eyeglasses