If you have recently noticed that your vision is not as clear as it used to be, you are seeing halos around lights, your eyes are suddenly more sensitive to light, and/or that your vision has changed in other ways, then you should visit an ophthalmologist who can best determine the cause of your new vision problems. While there is a wide array of eye problems that can cause vision disturbances, one common cause of vision disturbances, especially in elderly people, is the formation of cataracts on the eye lenses.
Read on to learn about the several types of cataracts that many people develop and a few modern cataract treatment options.
While you may be familiar with the term cataract, many people do not realize that there are several cataract types. Each begins by forming on different parts of the eye lens, which leads to some cataract types causing visual disturbances more quickly than others.
Nuclear cataracts start forming at the center of the lens, so many people notice changes in their vision shortly after this cataract type starts forming. Typically, this cataract type first affects distance vision, leading to objects far away looking blurry. Then, as these cataracts progress, they can even distort your view of colors.
Cortical cataracts start forming on the edges of eye lenses, so they may not cause visual changes when they first develop. However, these cataracts can spread to the center of the lens and begin to affect your vision over time.
Posterior subcapsular cataracts begin forming near the back center of the eye lens and typically begins affecting your vision as soon as they develop. This type of cataract can worsen very quickly after it forms, making it essential to plan cataract surgery soon after it begins developing.
Surgery is the most common and reliable treatment for all cataract types. The most common cataract surgery type performed today is called phacoemulsification surgery. Unlike other cataract surgery types performed in the past, this modern cataract surgery option can be performed in a doctor's office instead of a hospital with only local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia.
Phacoemulsification cataract surgery begins with the placement of a small incision near the clouded eye lens. Next, a special probe is inserted into the incision to break up the cataract-clouded lens, then the old lens pieces are suctioned out of the capsule that surrounds them. Finally, an artificial eye lens called an intraocular lens implant is inserted through the original incision site.
Since incisions in the eye tend to heal well on their own, no sutures are required at the incision site, and the incision site typically heals in just a few days.
If you recently noticed that your vision is not as clear as it used to be, then visit an ophthalmologist to determine if recent visual changes are signs of cataract formation and find out if cataract surgery may be right for you.