A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend’s face. Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision.
- Nuclear cataracts form in the middle of the lens and cause the nucleus, or the center, to become yellow or brown.
- Cortical cataracts are wedge-shaped and form around the edges of the nucleus.
- Posterior capsular cataracts form faster than the other two types and affect the back of the lens.
- Congenital cataracts, which are present at birth or form during a baby’s first year, are less common than age-related cataracts.
- Secondary cataracts are caused by disease or medications. Diseases that are linked with the development of cataracts include glaucoma and diabetes. The use of the steroid prednisone and other medications can sometimes lead to cataracts.
- Traumatic cataracts develop after an injury to the eye, but it can take several years for this to happen.
- Radiation cataracts can form after a person undergoes radiation treatment for cancer.