Cataracts: Symptoms, categories, causes & prevention

Clouding or blurring of the natural lens behind the iris and the pupil is identified as cataract. It’s among the most common causes of vision loss in people above the age of 40 whereas a major factor known across the world for blindness.

A survey by the Prevent Blindness America (PBA) concluded that cases of cataracts have increased as compared to glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration affecting more than 22-million just in the US. By 2020, it’s expected to reach 30-million.

When going for cataract surgery in Dubai or anywhere else around the world, it’s important knowing the types or categories. Read on to know more!

Types of cataract

Listed below are the three most common types of cataracts namely;

  • Subcapsular cataractoccurs at the rear side of the lens. People with diabetes or those taking high doses of steroid medication are at greater risk of developing subcapsular cataract.
  • Nuclear cataract is formed deep in the nucleus (central zone) of the lens and is usually associated to ageing.
  • Cortical cataract is identified by white and wedge-like denseness that evolve in the periphery of the lens and work its way or spread to the centre. This particular type of cataract occurs in the lens cortex; part of the lens surrounding the central nucleus.

Before concluding with cataract surgery in Dubai, your doctor is likely to identify the type before finalising the report.

Signs & symptoms

A cataract begins very small thereby having too little effect on the vision to notice. Recurrence of cloudy or blurry vision is a sign to have your eyes checked without delay! Light from the sun or even a simple table lamp may seem too bright and glaring when someone’s having cataract in the eye. Yet another symptom is excess glaring in the eye from a car’s headlight when driving at night. The usual and brightest colours may appear dull!

All these symptoms may vary per the type of cataract, timeline of their occurrence and other medical anomalies a patient may already be experiencing. The initial development of nuclear cataract may bring forth temporary improvement in the near vision which is also known as the “second sight”.

However, this so called improvement is short-lived as cataract intensifies overtime. On the contrary, a subcapsular cataract mightn’t give any symptom unless it enters the maturity level. Cataract surgery in Dubai is based on the type of underlying symptoms and conclusive evidence in the test results.

Causes & prevention

Besides ageing, some other causes of cataracts include;

  • Direct exposure of the eye to UV radiation
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Excess smoking and prolonged use of corticosteroid
  • History of eye injury or inflammation
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Over consumption of alcohol
  • High myopia

While cataract surgery in Dubai is a treatment, other non-surgical preventive measures include intake of vitamin-E, carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin from supplements and food.


Maintain your vision by having the eye sight checked every few months and this is more important for people highly exposed to conditions that may lead to cataract or any other eye disease.

This article is written and provided by Moorfields Eye Hospital in UAE.

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