Posterior Subcapsular Cataract


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A posterior subcapsular cataract is a type of cataract that starts small from the back of the lens, hence the name posterior. The back of the lens is always responsible for reflecting images at the back of the eye so that you can see. Therefore that if it is affected, your vision will immediately suffer as a consequence.

Symptoms of Posterior Subcapsular Cataract

As the lens starts to get covered by the proteins building up in the lens, you will notice some changes in your sight. The following are some of the signs you may experience with this kind of cataract:

  • Difficulty reading
  • Reduced vision when in bright light
  • You will see halos around lights at night
  • Glares, especially when driving at night
  • A blurred vision which also progresses with time

Anytime you notice any of the above symptoms, you need to get a doctor to check you out. An ophthalmologist will recommend treatment after going through a test to determine that you have this particular type of cataract. It can affect both or one eye, and if you ignore any of the signs and symptoms, they will worsen. In addition, some of the effects of cataracts are permanent, and you might lose your sight if you do not get treatment.

The posterior subcapsular cataract can be the primary cataract, but it can also come combined with other cataracts. This means that you may suffer from more than one type of cataract at the same time, and when you get a test, you can determine which cataracts are affecting you. This way, you can get the proper treatment and get back to normal daily activities without any of the symptoms you previously had.

Cause of Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts

Although many people assume that only aging can cause cataracts, there are many other causes that you need to know about. When you know the causes, you can prevent posterior subcapsular cataracts. The major causes of this type of cataracts are the following:

  • Aging: This is the most common cause of cataracts, and although not much can be done to prevent it, you can work to control the progress of the symptoms. Posterior subcapsular cataracts start small, and it becomes worse with time. It can take several years to manifest or get noticed easily.
  • Trauma: if a blunt object hits your eye, you can start having this type of cataract, and with time you will notice all the symptoms.
  • Taking steroid medication for a long while can also lead to cataracts. This is a side effect of some steroid medications, and you need to be aware of this before you start taking the drug for any condition you might have.
  • Diabetes: if not controlled properly, it might lead to posterior subcapsular cataracts. Therefore, anyone with this condition needs to ensure that they take the proper medication and control it so that it does not have other effects.
  • Skin disorders: some skin disorders like atopic dermatitis can also make you susceptible to this type of cataract.

Although it may not be easy or even possible to prevent this type of cataract, it is vital to ensure that it is diagnosed early enough. This will make it easy for your doctor to recommend a treatment before it worsens or causes permanent damage to your eyes. In addition, if you have regular visits with your doctor, they can identify any condition you have early and take proper treatments.

With the advancement in technology, it has become much easier for ophthalmologists to remove cataracts and get you back to seeing clearly in a short while. Outpatient surgery can help you because the affected lens is taken out, and they will use an artificial lens to replace it. You can go back to seeing clearly and your daily duties after that.

When you have been diagnosed with posterior subcapsular cataracts, a doctor can recommend glasses initially, and they will help you at the early stages. However, if you realize that you need a change of glasses after a short while, then you need to consider other forms of treatments. This is because as time goes by, the cataract grows and continues to cover a more significant part of your lens.

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About the Author Written by Dr. Michael Shumski, M.D., M.S.E.

Dr. Shumski is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract & refractive surgery at Magruder Laser Vision in central Florida.

In service for many years to treat cataract patients

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