What Is Posterior Subcapsular Cataract?

Posterior Subcapsular Cataract is an accumulation of cloudy mass at the back of the lens of our eyes. It can come off at first as a certain “halo effect” and impaired reading capability.

Eye check

The last time I wrote about cataracts, I mentioned that experts have identified at least four different kinds of cataracts and these are the Congenital, Nuclear, Cortical, and Posterior Subcapsular Cataract. Today we will try to shed more light and perhaps go in-depth about Posterior Subcapsular Cataract. How is it different from the other types of cataracts? What are the available treatments? Who is susceptible to this kind of cataract? How to live with a cataract? Can you avoid having cataracts? Lastly, the proper ways by which experts diagnose cataracts. 

Living with Cataract and Living with People who have Cataract

It is never easy to live with any medical condition. Imagine a world where there is always something bothering your eyesight. There is that cloudy haze-like blanket that disrupts your vision. Things get blurry and then suddenly everything is gone. You can’t see anymore. It’s always difficult at first but like how our ancestors have done before, they adapt. So we also adapt, especially if you are in a situation where you can barely get by with your daily needs, let alone afford health care of your own., You would consequently end up pushing aside getting and seeking medical attention. But with a cataract, you don’t have to live with it forever. There are ways to get by. 

Knowing What Cataract You Might Have

Getting cured of a medical condition starts as early as getting diagnosed correctly. Unfortunately for some who get misdiagnosed with any kind of illness, it could mean worse for them. Fortunately, with the advances, we have in technology and more knowledge on how to deal with certain illnesses, we can rest assured that we are in safer hands now more than ever.

A cataract is the clouding of the lens in our eyes and therefore cannot be visibly diagnosed until the symptoms are already worse. It will take a doctor who specializes in the care of our eyes. This doctor is called an Ophthalmologist. How does a cataract diagnosis go about? These are what you should expect when being diagnosed with cataracts.

1. Chart reading 

You will be asked to read a chart of letters and numbers that are printed from a seemingly large font that gradually goes smaller as the chart progresses. This chart is known as a Snellen chart. This test is often called a visual acuity test. The goal is to get a grasp of how far your vision has been impaired by cataracts if there are any. Because the first symptom is blurred vision. 

2. Retinal exam

The doctor will have to dilate your pupils to see your retina found at the back of your pupils. This will be done using specialized drops that will dilate your pupils. The doctor will then be using an ophthalmoscope which is a magnifying device that will help your doctor see your eyes better. A little side effect would be blurred vision after the eye exam because of the drops but it will go away afterward.

Slit Lamp Test

Next is a slit lamp test. This test uses a slit lamp that uses a very narrow light to do an exam on the outer parts of your eyes. This thin and small ray of light lets your ophthalmologist see even tiny abnormalities within your eyes. 

An instrument called tonometry will be used to measure the amount of pressure within your eyes. The doctor will most likely be giving you an eye drop that will numb your eyes for the test. There are three varying ways that medical practitioners measure your eye pressure. The first would involve a small puff of air to your eyes. The second would involve an orange dye, a slit lamp, and the tonometer. Lastly, the doctor could use a pen-like device,e that can outrightly measure the pressure of your eyes by putting it against your eyes. Of course, all three variations will be painful hence the numbing eye drops.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataract

This kind of cataract is so-called because of the location of where the cataract starts to form and eventually spread. It is posterior because it starts at the back of the lens. Subcapsular because it is positioned underneath the membrane or sac in the lens which then holds the lens in place.

The posterior subcapsular cataract, therefore, is an accumulation of cloudy mass at the back of the lens of our eyes. As some experts detail out, a posterior subcapsular cataract can come off at first as a glare towards bright lights, a certain “halo effect” and impaired reading capability through clouded or blurred vision.

Studies also show that people who have a history of steroidal abuse, have diabetes, and or are suffering from retinitis pigmentosa are more likely to develop posterior subcapsular cataracts than others normally would. One thing most noticeable about this type of cataract as experts detail out is that it progresses and develops faster than other forms of cataract out there. After symptoms may appear there is a possibility that it will progress in so little time as much as a month or so experts have warned. But it doesn’t mean that it is hopeless already. There is cataract surgery as an available option for those afflicted with cataracts.  

Avoiding Cataracts

Is there a way to avoid something so common to people like the flu? Why, yes of course. If you eat right, practice a good health habit and have enough rest and sleep then there is a very slim chance that you’ll likely catch the flu. Well, it can be like that for cataracts as well, although it won’t mean that you’ll never have a cataract.

Studies done by experts in the field have come up with some key factors as to why people get cataracts. In their study, it appeared that apart from old age being a definitive factor, they also have noted that gender, race, and sun exposure are also factors. With that aside, these experts have advised people to limit their sun exposure if they can or at least wear protective glasses like sunnies or sunglasses.

Quit smoking, eat food that is rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, vitamins C and E, plus the very helpful antioxidants. Get yourself a regular eye check-up. Most importantly get rid of all your nasty habits like reading in the dark, while lying down or on a moving vehicle, using your phone in a harsh lighting menu, and many more. Cataracts should not be the end of how we see the beauty this world still has to offer us.

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