A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye that leads to vision impairment.
For a person with cataracts, seeing through a clouded lens can be like viewing the world through a foggy or frosted window.
If you have any of the following symptoms and are concerned about cataracts, it's important to seek treatment right away.
Common symptoms of cataracts include the following:
There are three types of cataracts that differ based on how they form and where they develop. These types include:
Persons with diabetes are more likely to develop cortical cataracts than other types of cataracts. Cortical cataracts form in the cortex, which is the shell layer of the lens. It develops in a spokes formation that works its way from the peripheral of the lens, inward to the center. This causes light that enters the eye to scatter, which distorts depth perception and contrast, and causes blurry vision and increased glare.
This is the most common type of cataract, which presents as a progressive yellowing of the middle of the lens, hardening of the lens, and gradual expansion into more layers of the lens. Nuclear sclerotic cataracts often develop very slowly, over a period of years before outward symptoms present. Occasionally, babies are born with nuclear sclerotic cataracts.
This type of cataract first appears as a cloudy area on the lens, developing just beneath the lens capsule. As it grows, the cloudy, grayish appearance of the eye becomes outwardly noticeable.
Factors that increase the incidence of cataracts include:
During an eye exam, your ophthalmologist will look for the development of cataracts.
It's important to let your eye doctor know if you have one or more of these risk factors for cataracts.
Your ophthalmologist may use several tests during a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose cataracts, including:
Cataract surgery is typically used to treat cataracts. During this surgery, the damaged lens of the eye is replaced with an artificial lens.
Your ophthalmologist at Ophthalmic Specialists of Michigan will determine if and when cataract surgery makes sense in your individual circumstances.