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What are the 3 types of cataracts?



A Cataract can be described as a clouding of your lens due to the way the proteins in your eye are breaking down. This is mainly caused by age-related symptoms. Each cataract is classified based on where they develop in the eye, the progression time, how they develop and what symptoms they carry. What are the 3 types of cataracts? There are three (age-related) primary cataracts:


Nuclear Sclerotic

This is the most common cataract that progresses slowly over time. It begins with a hardening (sclerosis) in the center of the lens (nucleus). This cataract can be deceiving as most will report symptoms of improved vision (an ability to focus for close-up work), but this is only temporary and the “second sight” comes with a warning sign. This cataract may take years to develop, but all cataracts if left untreated will eventually develop into blurred vision.


Cortical Cataracts

This cataract forms in the shell layer of the lens and expands inwards creating a “spoke wheel” with white streaks causing light to enter the eye and scatter. This can lead to blurred vision, glare, and problems with depth perception/contrast.


Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts

This cataract begins in the back of the lens, under the lens capsule, and can result in problems with reading, night vision, and halo effects around light. Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts can progress aggressively within a few months.


When asking what are the 3 types of cataracts, it’s important to pay attention to the warning signs as well. All 3 can result in progressive vision loss, so looking out for the symptoms can be crucial in your treatment plan.


Signs to look out for:

  • Blurred vision

  • Halo effect around light

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Seeing bright colors now faded

  • Improved vision for near


Now that you know what are the 3 types of cataracts and their symptoms, you may be asking how to prevent them from the start. Unfortunately, most eye changes are a result of age and there is little to do when it comes to slowing down the aging process in the body. However, if you smoke, are a heavy drinker, have diabetes, have a family history of cataracts, past eye trauma/surgery, or take steroids, your risk is increased. On the bright side, wearing Anti-UV glasses, monitoring your diabetes, eating a high antioxidant diet, reducing alcohol consumption and smoking cessation can protect your eyes from progressing to vision loss.


Discovering what are the 3 types of cataracts and how to spot the warning signs are a great step in taking care of your health but don’t stop there. If you are noticing any changes in vision, you can schedule your next visit with Dr. El Annan at the Annan Retina Eye Center. Please call 346-222-6626 to speak to a member of staff who will be more than happy to help you.

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Unknown member
Jan 21, 2023

I highly recommend Dr El Annan. He did my cataract surgery on both eyes w/ zero complications & resulting 20/20 vision ( no glasses needed). Tnk u Dr El Annan

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