What are the 3 types of cataracts?

If you have a loved one who is aging, you may have heard that there are different types of cataracts. Or if you’re the one that’s aging, you may have even heard that there are three different types.

Let’s look at some symptoms of cataracts, then we’ll dive into the three different types.

Cataract symptoms

The most common symptom of cataracts is blurry vision. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes clouded, preventing ample light from reaching the retina.

Depending on the type of cataracts you have, you may experience problems seeing in either low light or bright light. Often that causes issues when driving.

The different types of cataracts

While there are many types of cataracts, there are three primary types that are age-related:

  1. Nuclear
  2. Cortical
  3. Posterior Subcapsular

All three can have different causes and can present different symptoms.

Nuclear cataracts

This is the most common type of age-related cataracts. It’s primarily caused by the hardening and yellowing of the lens of the eye.

This type of cataract primarily affects your vision at night. As a result, it can become a challenge to drive in the evening.

Cortical cataracts

Cortical refers to the area these cataracts develop, the lens cortex. They are cloudy areas that can look like spokes of a wheel going from the outside edge of the lens to the center.

Like nuclear cataracts, this type also affects your vision at night, and can make it unsafe to drive in the evening.

Posterior Subcapsular cataracts

This type of cataracts gets its name because it starts out on the back surface—or posterior—of the lens in the eye, beneath the lens capsule.

Unlike the other two, this type of cataract can affect vision in brighter conditions.

Of course, knowing for certain if you have cataracts requires a diagnosis from a medical professional like an optometrist. In fact, if you see your optometrist on a regular basis, it’s highly likely they can catch it early on.

Cataracts are treatable, so if you suspect you might have them, see your optometrist. If you’re in the Oklahoma City area, we would be happy to see you at our office.