Most people know cataracts as something only age-related, since you are more likely to get this condition when you are over age 60. However, this is only one type of cataract that exists. Knowing the different types of cataracts that occur may help you determine your risks of getting one before you get older, which is helpful since early detection usually leads to early treatment.
Types Classified by Cause
Cataracts can be classified according to the reason they occur. For example, age-related cataracts appear as you age, while congenital cataracts are present from birth, which means that newborn babies and young children can get them. Traumatic cataracts are present only after trauma to the eye. Finally, secondary cataracts usually show up as a result of medical conditions like diabetes or prolonged exposure to radiation or ultraviolet light.
Types Classified by the Area They Affect
The types of cataracts are also categorized depending on the area of the lens that they affect. For example, nuclear cataracts affect the middle of the lens, eventually causing it to turn yellow and blurry. At first, you might feel like your vision has improved since you can see items that are close to you more clearly than usual. However, over time, you will get double vision, and will likely lose your ability to distinguish between colors, too.
Cortical cataracts start out as white streaks along the edge of the lens. Once the streaks move to the middle of the lens, you will likely notice excessive glare since this type blocks light from properly passing through.
Finally, posterior subcapsular types of cataracts are known for affecting the back area of the lens. The issue is the opacity that occurs on the back part of the lens, which usually blocks the light that normally passes through to the retina. The result is bad vision under bright lights, issues reading or looking at objects close up, and bad night driving due to the appearance of halos around lights when it is dark.