The normal natural lens of the eye is clear and provides clear vision. It is biconvex in shape, elastic for fine-focusing, and called the crystalline lens.
With age, the clear lens may become clouded into what is known as an immature cataract. It blurs, dims, discolours, and clouds one’s vision. Cataracts can develop slowly and decreased vision may not be noticed.
As a cataract develops, it becomes more clouded and discoloured to become known as a mature cataract. Surgery can be performed to remove this type of cataract, and replace it with a small, clear plastic lens.
If a mature cataract is not removed, it can continue to develop into what is known as a hypermature cataract. Vision is severely impaired at this stage.
Some cataracts develop in only part of the lens. A nuclear cataract becomes clouded and discoloured in the central part of the lens, called the nucleus.
A cataract which develops in the outer edges, or cortex of the lens, is called a cortical cataract. Wedges of opacity begin at the edges and then eventually extend into the central lens, affecting vision.
A posterior subcapsular cataract usually only affects a small part in the back of the lens. However, because it is centrally located, it can significantly affect vision.
A Morgagnian cataract is a hypermature type in which the outer cortex of the lens has liquefied. The central nucleus sinks downward within the capsular bag of the lens.
Every case of cataracts is different and affects the vision of individuals differently. Your eye care provider can help make determinations as to what is best for you. Any changes to your vision should be brought to your eye care provider’s attention immediately.