As you get older, your eye lenses can develop cloudiness, which is known as cataracts. You’re not alone if you have this eye condition. In fact, an estimated 24.4 million people in the U.S. over 40 have cataracts, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Since cataracts can end up affecting your vision over time, you should familiarize yourself with this eye condition.
Cataracts aren’t all the same. They can develop for different reasons and affect different parts of your lens. The most common type of cataract is called a nuclear cataract. This type develops in the central part of your lens and usually develops with age. You might notice that your vision keeps getting blurrier or cloudier when you have this kind of cataract.
Other types of cataracts include cortical cataracts, cataracts that appear on the outer edge of your eye lens, and posterior subcapsular cataracts, that develop behind the capsule that holds your lens in place.
Some cataracts can form in the back of your eye lens, known as posterior subcapsular cataracts. Other cataracts can develop along the edge of your lens, which are known as cortical cataracts. During your routine eye exams, your eye doctor can look for cataracts and go over treatment options if you have this eye problem.
Cataracts can lead to the need for surgical removal when they become advanced enough to seriously impair your vision. This procedure involves having the affected lens taken out and an artificial lens inserted to help improve your vision. Before deciding on surgery, you might need to make changes to your daily life to manage cataract symptoms, such as using brighter lighting for reading or avoiding driving at night.