Cataracts, a clouding and degradation of the lens of the eye, is a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in those over age 40. While there is no guaranteed method by which we can prevent them from occurring, there are certain sensible steps that might reduce their likelihood. Leading ophthalmologist, Brent Bellotte MD., discusses the different types, causes, treatment, and possible prevention methods.

The different types of cataracts and their causes 

  • What causes cataracts?
  • Different types of cataracts

What causes cataracts?

Cataracts form on the lens inside the eye. The lens is responsible for directing light onto the retina, as well as adjusting focus. It’s mostly made of water and various proteins that are set out in a very precise manner in order to allow light to pass through. Cataracts form when these proteins clump together, preventing the clear passage of light and clouding the clarity of the lens. Once formed they grow in size, gradually creating more of a barrier and reducing vision.

Risk factors include:

o The natural aging process

o Lifestyle choices such as smoking and excessive alcohol

o   A history of eye injury, inflammation, or surgery

o Health issues such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension

o Statins, prolonged use of corticosteroids, and Hormone Replacement Therapy

o High myopia

o A family history of cataracts

 Different types of cataracts 

The three most common types of cataracts are: 

o Nuclear cataracts: Usually associated with aging, these form in the center of the lens

o Cortical cataracts: These begin to form in the peripheral region, gradually working their way to the center of the lens

o Subcapsular cataracts: Found at the back of the lens—diabetics and those with prolonged use of corticosteroids are most at risk

Cataract eye surgery options 

Custom cataract surgery

Advances in technology means that those who suffer from cataracts can undergo surgical treatment that’s both swift and effective. Various types of intraocular lenses (IOLs) can be used to restore vision, very often to the stage of no longer needing any visual aids, such as contacts or glasses.

Brent Bellotte MD. and his expert team at the West Boca Eye Center carry out the latest cutting-edge procedures to address any type of cataract problem tailored to the unique characteristics of each individual eye condition. 

Good eye health and prevention

  • Regular eye examinations
  • Preventative lifestyle measures

Regular eye examinations

By far the most effective method of reducing the chances of vision loss through cataracts is to have regular eye exams. This means any cataract formation can be monitored and an effective plan put in place should surgery become necessary.

Preventative lifestyle measures 

There are no proven methods to prevent cataracts. However, there is some evidence that the following might reduce the risk of their formation: 

o Eat foods high in antioxidants, including vitamins C and E

o Wear sunglasses

o Consume a healthy, balanced diet

o Keep your weight within healthy limits

Contact Brent Bellotte MD. and the West Boca Eye Center now 

The expert team at the West Boca Eye Center offer the latest cataract solutions, as well as advanced treatments for every aspect of eye health. Visit www.westbocaeyecenter.com or call (561) 488-1001 to find out more.