The Different Types of Cataracts & How They Affect Your Vision

Cataracts are a common eye condition that can greatly impact how we see the world and live our lives. Just imagine struggling with blurry vision, getting bothered by bright lights, or finding it hard to read or drive. But don't worry—understanding cataracts, the different types, and the importance of catching them early is key to managing this condition effectively. 

In this blog post, we're going to dive into the world of cataracts and explore how they can affect our vision. We'll also emphasize why it's so important to detect and treat cataracts when they become functionally significant. 

Whether you're curious about your own eye health or looking out for someone you care about, this guide aims to give you clear and friendly information about cataracts and how to handle them.


Cataracts often develop due to a combination of factors, and understanding their causes can help us take proactive steps toward prevention and early detection. 

  • Aging: The natural aging process can cause proteins in the eye lens to clump together, leading to clouding and cataract formation.
  • UV Light Exposure: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can gradually damage the lens, increasing the risk of cataracts.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain conditions, such as diabetes, are associated with a higher likelihood of developing cataracts.
  • Eye Trauma: Injury or previous eye surgery can accelerate the formation of cataracts.
  • Medications: The prolonged use of corticosteroid medications may contribute to cataract development.

Understanding these risk factors and prioritizing early detection is important to minimize the impact on vision and overall quality of life. By being aware of these causes, we can make informed choices and take preventive measures to maintain good eye health.


Cataracts come in different forms, each with its own characteristics. Understanding these types can help shed light on how they affect our vision. 


Nuclear cataracts are a type of cataract that typically develops in the center of the eye lens. They are often associated with aging, as they tend to progress slowly over time. As we grow older, changes occur within the lens proteins, causing them to become yellow or brown. This discoloration affects the clarity of our vision, leading to decreased visual acuity. 

People with nuclear cataracts often experience difficulties seeing in low-light conditions, such as at dusk or at night. Additionally, they may become more sensitive to glare from bright lights, making it challenging to drive at night or see clearly in sunny environments.


Cortical cataracts are another type of cataract that forms in the outer edges or cortex of the eye lens. Unlike nuclear cataracts that develop in the center, cortical cataracts start at the periphery and gradually progress inward. 

These cataracts appear as wedge-shaped opacities that disrupt the normal transparency of the lens. As a result, they can cause difficulties with contrast sensitivity, making it challenging to distinguish between objects of similar shades or colors. 

People with cortical cataracts may also experience increased sensitivity to glare, especially when exposed to bright lights or sunlight. In addition, the distorted arrangement of the lens fibers can lead to blurred or distorted vision, affecting overall visual quality.


Subcapsular cataracts are a type of cataract that develops usually at the back of the lens, just beneath the lens capsule. They tend to progress more rapidly compared to other types of cataracts. 

Subcapsular cataracts can occur in different forms, including anterior and posterior subcapsular cataracts. Anterior subcapsular cataracts form towards the front of the lens, while posterior subcapsular cataracts develop towards the back. 

These cataracts are associated with various factors, such as aging, diabetes, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications, or certain conditions like retinitis pigmentosa. The impact on vision include difficulties with reading small print, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision, making it challenging to see clearly in bright and dim lighting conditions.


Identifying cataracts in their early stages allows for timely interventions to prevent further vision deterioration. By catching cataracts early, medical professionals can closely monitor their progression and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Timely management of cataracts helps reduce the impact of common symptoms such as blurred vision, sensitivity to glare, and difficulties with reading. With early treatment, individuals can experience improved visual clarity and a reduction in discomfort caused by these symptoms.

Prompt treatment enables individuals to continue their daily activities with greater ease. Whether it's driving, reading, or pursuing hobbies, managing cataracts early on enhances the ability to engage in these activities without significant limitations.

By prioritizing regular eye exams and staying informed about the risk factors associated with cataracts, individuals can detect the condition early, seek appropriate medical care, and enjoy better vision and an improved quality of life.


Taking care of your eye health is vital for maintaining clear vision and high quality of life. By understanding the different types of cataracts and their impact on vision, you can recognize the symptoms and take action early. 

At Premier Eye Care in Idaho Falls, Rexburg, and Pocatello, we are committed to providing comprehensive eye care and specialized services for cataract diagnosis and treatment. Take the first step towards a clearer vision by scheduling an appointment with our experienced professionals. 

We invite you to learn more about managing cataracts effectively and to request your eye exam. Don't let cataracts hold you back—empower yourself with proactive eye care and discover the difference it can make in your life.