Eye cataracts are named in accordance with their location. The
most common type, a “nuclear” cataract, occurs in the center of the
lens and may induce nearsightedness. As a result, there may be a
temporary improvement in reading vision, known as “second sight,”
which unfortunately disappears as the cataract worsens. A “cortical”
cataract begins as wedge-shaped spokes in the cortex of the lens
that extend from the outside of the lens toward the center. Although
it develops slowly, it may impair both distance and near vision to the
point where surgery is indicated at a relatively early stage. Lastly, a
“subcapsular” cataract slowly develops as a small opacity under the
capsule. Symptoms may not appear until it is well developed.
Cataracts are a common cause of vision loss, especially as we age,
but they are treatable.