Nuclear, Subcapsular, and Cortical Cataracts

Over time, the lens in your eye grows and changes. It operates similar to the lens of a camera. It focuses light onto the retina for clear vision, and also adjusts the eye’s focus, allowing you to see clearly both up close and far away. Cataracts cloud the lens and prevents it from doing its job properly.

Cataracts become more common as you age and are the leading causes of vision loss for adults over the age of 40. Initially, most fail to notice the symptoms of cataracts which emerge gradually over time and glasses may be enough in the earliest stages. However, as cataracts continue to develop, the effect on your eyesight becomes more noticeable and then pronounced.

The most common symptom associated with cataracts is blurry or cloudy vision. Some describe living with cataracts as like having to look through a fogged window or frosted glass. Cataracts also lead to increased sensitivity to light, reduced vision at night, seeing faint halos around light sources, and the gradual fading of colours. Over time, these symptoms become worse as the cataracts grow, and in turn, dramatically reduce your ability to see clearly. Luckily, cataracts can be treated effectively and there are many options available.

At the Mitchell Eye Centre, our surgeons can quickly have you seeing clearly again and also reduce your dependence on glasses. Book an appointment with our eye doctors to treat your cataracts using the Catalys Precision Laser System and advanced technology lens implants.

To learn more about the three different types of cataracts most commonly diagnosed, read more about subcapsular cataracts, nuclear cataracts, and cortical cataracts below. If you think that you may be developing cataracts or if you are already considering treatment, book an appointment with us to immediately begin making your vision clear.

Nuclear Cataracts

Nuclear cataracts are the most common type of cataract. This type is age-related and is most frequently found among patients over the age of 40.

Found in the center of the eye’s lens, nuclear cataracts interfere with your ability to see objects at a distance as well as limiting the ability to distinguish between colours and shades. Over time, the cataract will turn yellow or brown and cloud vision.

For some patients, while the cataract is progressing, near-vision, for activities such as reading or using a computer, may actually improve. As the lens becomes more dense and cloudy, it changes the eye’s ability to focus, making closer objects appear clearer. Yet, this improvement is only short term. Ultimately, nuclear cataracts lead to an overall reduction in your ability to see clearly.

Subcapsular Cataracts

Subcapsular cataracts affect the back of your lens and usually begins as a small, cloudy area blocking light from passing through to the retina. Subcapsular cataracts tend to progress more quickly than other types, leading to vision loss in a shorter period of time. At early to mid stages, subcapsular cataracts interfere with your ability to read and may cause glares or halos to appear around light sources at night. This results in diminished night vision and can negatively affect your ability to drive in dark conditions.

Cortical Cataracts

Cortical cataracts are most commonly developed by those with diabetes. Cortical cataracts begin in the outer rim of your eye’s lens as slowly growing “spokes” towards the centre of the lens. These spokes block or distort the light passing through. This causes glares to form around lights and a loss of contrast between colours and shades. Both near and distance vision are slowly reduced. If left untreated, cortical cataracts can result in vision loss.

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