When cataracts develop, images gradually become duller and hazier over time. Colors fade and vision slowly dims. These effects have real consequences for the quality of life and safety of individuals whose cataracts have become advanced.
Although the effects are the same, the types of cataracts that precipitate this visual decline vary. Here, the experienced vision care professionals of Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons review the fundamental causes and effects.
Cataracts occur when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy, obscuring the image it projects on the retina. This process can begin in our 60s and becomes more common with each passing year.
The most common type of cataract, the nuclear sclerotic cataract, follows this age-related pattern. With this type of cataract, the central part of the lens (nucleus) hardens and gradually becomes yellow or brown.
Cortical cataracts, by contrast, form around the edges of the lens nucleus. When the clouding begins at the back of the lens, the result is a posterior capsular cataract.
Congenital cataracts are less common, and are usually detected during a child’s first year.
Medications or diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes can cause a type of cataracts called secondary cataracts. Injury to the eye sometimes results in traumatic cataracts, which may appear years after the initial impact or injury. Radiation cataracts can develop in cancer patients who are receiving radiation treatment.
In each case, the solution is the same: cataract surgery, a simple, convenient and routine procedure. Millions of cataract surgeries are performed each year. In this procedure, the clouded lens is removed and replaced with a lens implant that will remain clear for life. Originally performed with the use of a miniature blade, cataract removal is now done using a femtosecond laser to make incisions.
Our premier eye surgeons perform advanced cataract surgical procedures for patients in Reading and throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. We also offer state-of-the-art intraocular lenses that will replace your natural lenses with permanent, resilient artificial lenses that, depending on your preference, can give you superb vision at a variety of distances.
If you would like to learn more about cataracts, we invite you to schedule a personal consultation in our Reading office with one of the skilled ophthalmologists at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons today.