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Cataract Awareness Month: Common Questions About Senior Vision

June 21, 2012

Senior Vision Health – Common Questions!

Answering some of the most frequent questions about cataracts and aging vision.

While we are officially halfway through June’s Cataract Awareness Month, we here at OCLI are still focused on spreading the dangers of this common eye disease and we have plenty of information to share on the importance of healthy senior vision and the different affects that cataracts can have on both your eyes and your daily activities.

Now that you know all about the common symptoms of cataracts and the ways in which you can thwart this vision problem from our last cataract awareness post, this week we wanted to focus on some of the lesser-known facts and information surrounding the formation and prevention of cataracts. To help you understand a little bit more behind this senior-related vision problem, we have put together some questions that are commonly asked about cataracts and aging vision.


cataract prevention

Basic Cataract simulation.


What Are The Different Types of Cataracts?

While there are three different major types of cataracts, it is possible to have a combination of all three of these in the same person’s eye―although it is uncommon. The first of the three is nuclear cataracts, where the central part of the lens is more opaque. The second type of cataracts is cortical, where the more peripheral regions of the lens become whitened as a side effect of the disease. The third type is identified as posterior subcapsular cataracts, where the back surface of the eye’s lens develops the major opacity.

Each of the different types of cataracts have different effects on a person’s vision, while posterior subcapsular most often affects a younger person’s reading vision and gives particular problems with glare. Nuclear cataract more often affects an older person’s distance vision, while leaving the reading vision relatively spared, while cortical cataracts can actually be thoroughly extensive and only has minimal effect on vision.

Do Eye Injuries Affect Cataract Development?

A minor eye injury, such as a poke in the eye with a finger or an outside object causing impact, can in fact cause mechanical trauma that results in the clouding of the lens or a cataract. Severe injuries to the eye can cause focal cataracts or even cause dislocation of the lens. Therefore, we here at OCLI strongly recommend that anyone involved in any contact sports and certain jobs that are high risk, such as grinding and drilling, wear eye protection to reduce their risk.

Does Everyone Develop Cataracts?

By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. There are other causes of cataracts such as diabetes, eye injury, radiation and surgery for other eye problems.

Cataracts also tend to worsen gradually as you grow older. The clear lens slowly changes to a yellowish/brownish color, adding a brownish tint to vision. If you are 60 or older, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years. In addition to cataract, your eye-care professional can check for signs of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other vision disorders.

Will Cataracts Return Once Removed?

Once a cataract has been removed it cannot return. However, over time, patients may complain that their vision has once again become cloudy. This condition is known as secondary cataract. It can be easily and rapidly treated by a simple laser procedure.

For more information about the onset of cataracts, or to learn more about the many benefits that cataract surgery can have for seniors with this vision problem, be sure to contact OCLI during June’s National Cataract Awareness Month to see how we can help improve your senior years.


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