Types of Cataracts and Prevention

June is Cataract Awareness Month and in case you missed our first blog post earlier this month detailing cataracts, astigmatism and presbyopia, you can review it here.

Did you know there are various types of cataracts?  It’s true!  Cataracts are not a one size fits all health issue.  The three main types of cataracts are nuclear, cortical and posterior subcapsular  cataracts. 

Nuclear cataracts are the most common type that doctors see.  They form in center of the lens, also known as the nucleus.  Over time, the lens hardens and turns yellow or even brown.  It becomes difficult to see small details, colors get less rich, and halos appear around bright objects at night.

Cortical Cataracts are characterized by white, wedge-like opacities that start in on the outside of the lens, also known as the cortex, and work their way towards the center of the lens.  The main symptom of these cataracts is glare. It can be difficult to drive at night and vision might seem hazy.  It can also become difficult to see colors and to accurately gage depth perception.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts are the fastest forming type of cataracts as symptoms can form and worsen within months.  Thesecataracts form just inside the back of your lens capsule — the part of your eye that surrounds the lens and holds it in place.   Furthermore the cataracts form directly in the path of light as it passes through the lens.

Outside of the three main types there are several more types of cataracts.  Two others are congenital and traumatic cataracts.  

Congenital Cataracts are cataracts that exist from birth or early childhood.  Many of these are genetic but some can occur due to serious in utero or early childhood diseases. 

Traumatic Cataracts form as the result of some type of trauma or injury to the eye.  These catarcts may form right away or may not show up until years after the injury. 

So, is there anything that can be done to help prevent cataracts from forming?  While there isn’t anything that can be done about genetics or overall age, there are some steps you can take to help with the prevention or progression of cataracts. 

Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.  Think of your eyes as you do the rest of your face!  They need to be protected as well when in the sun.  So when you apply your SPF sunscreen, make sure you are also wearing protective sunglasses!  Eating a diet rich in omega 3s and vitamins A, C and E has also proven to ward off or slow the progression of cataracts.  And finally, the best way to keep your vision strong is to visit the eye doctor every year to ensure there are no changes in the health of your eyes! 

Call us today at 919-282-1100 or visit us online at www.kellyeyecenter.com to schedule your exam!