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Understanding the Different Types of Cataracts

When cataracts develop, images gradually become duller and hazier. 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 West Palm Beach and Jupiter vision care professionals of Mittleman Eye review the classification of cataracts, and describe the surgical solution for natural lenses that have lost their transparency.

When Cataracts Form

Cataracts occur when an 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 follows this age-related pattern, and is referred to as a nuclear sclerotic cataract. With this variety 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 variety referred to as 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.

Surgical Solution

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.

The skilled ophthalmologists of Mittleman Eye perform advanced cataract surgical procedures for patients in West Palm Beach, Jupiter and throughout southern Florida. They also offer state-of-the-art intraocular lenses that will replace your natural lens with a permanent, resilient artificial version that, depending on your choice, 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 with an experienced ophthalmologist at our West Palm Beach or Jupiter office by contacting Mittleman Eye today.