What Your Doctor Sees If You Have Cataracts

The loss of clarity of the lens, or cataract, typically occurs in 1 of 3 patterns, which are visible to your doctor during a slit lamp examination:

  1. Nuclear Sclerosis
    The center of the lens, or nucleus, progressively hardens, or scleroses, with age. This hardening may cause the nucleus to turn a yellow color, resulting in decreased vision. Nuclear sclerosis is one of the most common forms of age-related cataract. In addition to decreasing the sharpness of vision, it often causes colors to look more muted and one’s eyeglasses prescription to change markedly over time. Nuclear sclerosis cataracts usually progress slowly, taking several years to cause noticeable change in the vision.
  2. Cortical Spokes
    The cortex, the softer lens material that surrounds the firmer central nucleus. Cortical cataracts appear white and “spoke-like.” Extremely advanced cortical cataracts can make the entire lens look white. Cortical spokes can cause decreased vision as well as glare in bright light settings. Even small cortical spokes, if they extend into the central vision area of the lens, can cause such visual symptoms.
  3. Posterior Subcapsular Cataract
    Sometimes, changes in the lens occur at the far backside of the lens in the posterior subcapsular region. This area, which lies directly next to the lens capsule, the structure which helps hold the lens in place, can turn a hazy grey color from plaque-like abnormal lens cells, resulting in decreased vision. Marked glare symptoms may also occur in bright light settings. Occasionally, posterior subcapsular, or “PSC” cataracts can progress rapidly, and may compromise vision over a few short months.

Bucci Laser Vision

Wilkes-Barre, PA

Vance Thompson Vision

Sioux Falls, SD