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What are the different types of cataract?

Posted: Sep 08 2020

Understanding the different types of cataract

What is a cataract?

Cataracts are a common eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide, especially those aged 60 and older. They occur when the lens in your eye becomes cloudy, causing blurred vision and difficulty seeing in low light. While cataracts can develop slowly and often go unnoticed, leaving them untreated can be dangerous and even lead to blindness. In this blog post, we’ll explore what a cataract is, the symptoms to look out for, and the risks associated with leaving them untreated. We’ll also discuss how cataract surgery can help restore your vision and improve your quality of life. So, whether you’re experiencing symptoms or want to learn more about this common condition, keep reading to find out more.

Common symptoms of cataracts include: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Seeing faded colours
  • Sensitivity to glare

Three different types of cataracts

The human lens consists of layers of protein that are laid down over time and continue to grow throughout life and at all decades from 10 to 70 years; the male lens is heavier than its female counterpart.

The layered structure of the lens is much like an onion or tree trunk, albeit clear before the loss of clarity and a cataract occurs. The cataract causes blurred vision, loss of contrast and can make everyday tasks such as driving difficult. This can occur at any age but is more common in people over 60 years old.

Cataract surgery removes the cloudy lens protein and replaces this with a lens implant that can correct your glasses prescription for distance and near vision.

The different layers of the lens give rise to three different types of cataracts as follows:

  1. Cortical cataract: This type of cataract affects the clarity of the outer layers of the lens. Very often, it appears white and chalky
  2. Nuclear cataract: This type of cataract affects the central nucleus of the lens and gives rise to commonly seen nuclear sclerotic cataracts. Very often, it appears yellowy-brown
  3. Posterior sub-capsular cataract: this type of cataract occurs at the back of the lens, before the capsule that surrounds the lens protein. This type of cataract is more common in diabetic patients

Very often, a mixture of the three types of cataracts is seen due to all layers of the lens being affected.

Looking for more information on what sets our cataract surgery apart? Our cataract surgery brochure contains all the information you need. View our brochure page to receive your free download.Visit brochure page

Other less common types of cataracts include:

  • Blue dot or cerulean cataract: these types of cataracts appear as discrete blue dots within the lens and are usually seen from a young age and don’t affect vision
  • Christmas tree cataract: branching patterns of scintillating, crystal-like colour can be seen within these lenses. These changes are typically age-related
  • Bearskin cataracts: these can occur in patients who have severe eye allergies and after some cases of trauma
  • Black cataracts: these are rock-like types of cataracts seen in advanced cases where the lens has solidified
  • Morgagnian cataracts: a rare form of a cataract where the cortex liquefies and the nucleus sinks to the bottom of the lens. The lens can shrink and collapse

different types of cataract


Looking for more information on what sets our cataract surgery apart? Our cataract surgery brochure contains all the information you need. View our brochure page to receive your free download.

Visit brochure page

The benefits of cataract surgery

The need for cataract surgery arises when a person’s vision begins to become cloudy due to the formation of a cataract. Cataracts are usually age-related but may also result from trauma, medical condition or inherited conditions. In most cases, people will wait until the cataract has “ripe” before considering surgery. This used to be common practice, but it is no longer necessary due to advancements in modern surgical techniques and equipment that can safely and effectively perform the procedure earlier on.

In deciding whether or not to go ahead with the operation, an eye specialist will assess factors such as how much your vision is being affected by the cataract and any other existing conditions in the eye which could either make the operation more difficult or increase its risks. Ultimately, it is up to you – based on advice from the specialist – if you feel like the risks are worth taking in order to improve your quality of life through better vision.

This may also interest you:

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Book your cataract surgery with OCL Vision today

If you’re experiencing the effects of cataracts and are considering cataract surgery, OCL Vision in London is the perfect choice. Their team of highly skilled surgeons uses cutting-edge technology and the latest techniques to provide personalised care tailored to your unique needs. With a commitment to patient satisfaction and safety, you can trust that you’ll receive the highest level of care throughout the entire process. Whether you need a simple procedure or a more complex treatment, OCL Vision is here to help you regain your vision and get back to enjoying life to the fullest. So why wait? Book your consultation with OCL Vision today and take the first step towards clearer, brighter, and more vibrant eyesight.


If you suffer from cataracts, you are more than likely suitable for surgery. That being said, you should book an initial consultation with a specialist, where the appropriate treatment can be advised based on an assessment of your health and any other circumstances.

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