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Cataracts: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss among people who are over the age of 40. This clouding of the eye's natural lens is also the leading cause of blindness throughout the world, and can be broken down into three main types.

Subcapsular cataracts:

This type of cataract happens in the back of an eye's lens and those who have diabetes or are using high amounts of steroid medications are most at risk of developing this type.

Cortical cataracts:

This type of cataract is distinguished by its milky and opaque wedges which begin at the outside of the lens of the eye. These wedges then begin to move towards the middle of the lens in a bicycle wheel type manner. Cortical cataracts happen in the cortex of the lens which comprises the part of the lens which envelopes the central nucleus.

Nuclear cataracts:

This type of cataract is most closely related to the aging process and the most common age-related cataract. They develop deep in the nucleus of the lens and are mainly caused by the yellowing and hardening of the lens as time goes on.

Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts

Cataracts start with very little signs or symptoms. At first you might notice your vision is a little blurry, which is why it's so important to see your Calgary eye doctor immediately once you notice any chages in your vision.

Depending on the type of cataract, your symptoms and how quickly they occur will differ. Certain light may seem unusually brighter than before, colours might be duller than usual, and you may experience more glare. Nuclear cataracts sometimes even result in improved vision at first, but the effect doesn't last long and your vision will quickly deteriorate. Subcapsular cataracts meanwhile might not present any symptoms or changes to your vision. Again, this underlines the importance of getting your eyes checked regularly and our experienced optometrists at Market Mall eye clinic can help you do just that.


Causes of Cataracts

The natural aging process we humans (or most animals for that matter) go through is the main cause of cataracts. As time progresses, the proteins within our eye lenses can begin to get compacted. These lumps start to cloud a very small portion of the lens, but given enough time they'll spread to the point where vision is severely impacted. While no definitive answer has been found as to why aging causes this process to occur, research has shown there are certain health conditions or things that put people at higher risk. They are:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Extended use of steroid medication
  • Eye injuries or previous eye surgeries

Cataract Treatment

In Calgary cataract management and care is much more accessible than other places around the world thanks to the many excellent optometrists located in the city. As the symptoms of cataracts begin to appear, the subsequent vision loss may be improved via strong bifocals or new glasses. Once the cataracts reach a certain stage and begin seriously impacting your vision and day-to-day life, cataract surgery should be seriously considered. The surgery is straightforward, relatively painless, and can help drastically in restoring your vision. Market Mall Optometry is one of your best cataract surgery Calgary options given our extensive experience with the procedure. If you're tired of living with decreased vision due to cataracts, give us a call today.

Alternatively, you can contact us at 403-286-4884 or fill in our online contact form.

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