While a vast majority of people believe that all cataracts are the same, there are actually several different kinds of cataracts that can affect a person’s eyesight. In fact, a classification system has been developed in order to determine the specific type of cataracts a person may be suffering from. This is a determination that is made according to the unique differences that help to distinguish each type of cataracts. Two of the main categories that most ophthalmologists use to identify the different types of cataracts are origin and location.
Different Types of Cataracts That Are Determined By Origin
When referring to origin based cataracts, those that are related to the age of the patient are by far the most prevalent type. While the formation of cataracts doesn’t always begin when a person has reached 60 to 70 years old, it is the typical age group that the onset starts. There are also other cataract types that are categorized by origin and they are as follows.
The development of this type of cataracts occurs when infants are born. While mild forms may not cause problems with the vision, problems are likely to be noticed with cases that are more severe. To prevent such vision problems as amblyopia or strabismus from occurring, cataracts of this type that are severe may require surgical removal.
This kind of cataracts usually occurs after a patient has undergone eye surgery due from problems that are associated with retinal conditions or glaucoma. Other health conditions that can cause secondary cataracts include long-term steroid use and diabetes.
Traumatic cataracts ñ As the name suggests, this type is caused when a patient has suffered some type of eye trauma or injury. Two of the main risk factors that commonly cause traumatic cataracts are exposure to chemicals and blunt trauma. These cataracts can form immediately following an injury, or they may not form for several years following trauma.
Although very rare, this type of cataracts can form from exposure to specific kinds of radiation, and more specifically the radiation of ultraviolet light.
Different Types of Cataracts That Are Determined By Location
The specific location on the lens of the eyes that the clouding is located is the basis used to classify the following types of cataracts.
The outermost portion or the cortex of the eye’s lens is the location where this type of cataract forms. The appearance is similar to a wheel’s spokes that are traveling to the center portion of the lens and causing light to scatter when moving through the cataracts.
Nuclear sclerotic cataracts
These cataracts develop by the nucleus or center area of the lens, which is often the area that cataracts will form. As progression occurs, the center of the lens will become hard and a yellow clouding will occur gradually.
Posterior subcapsular cataracts
The back surface of the eyeís lens is the area this type of cataract will develop, which is beneath the capsular bag the lens is enclosed in. This type occurs most frequently in patients that use steroids and those that are diabetic. These cataracts often cause sensitivity to light, the appearance of halos, and glare.