Posterior Polar Cataracts
By Jeffrey Martin, MD
Published on May 05, 2010
A cataract is a natural clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye. This is a natural process that tends to happen as we age. There are several types of cataracts, including nuclear cataracts, cortical cataracts, and posterior subcapsular cataracts.
Nuclear cataracts describe the clouding of the lens that occurs in the central part of the lens. This is very common in people as they age and also occurs with smoking, excessive UV light exposure, and family history. A cortical cataract is a clouding of the shell around the nucleus of the lens. These cataracts begin with spokes, but can eventually opacify the entire lens. Posterior subcapsular cataract is a cataract that forms directly in front of the capsule on the backside of the lens. These cataracts react more to glare, but will eventually cut down vision.
A posterior polar cataract is a less common variety of cataract that is described as a cataract that is posterior in the lens and may involve the lens capsule. Dr. Jeff Martin, Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at SUNY Stony Brook, explains that these cataracts can be more difficult to treat because when the cataract is removed, the capsule that holds the cataract and is the best place to hold the new implant can often be compromised. If the capsule breaks in lens removal, the ability to place certain implants becomes undesirable and the vitreous gel from the back of the eye can make things more dangerous.
For this reason, Dr. Jeffrey Martin examines all of his cataract patients carefully and counsels them appropriately. Dr. Martin feels that it is quite important for patients to know their relative risk while undergoing cataract surgery in Long Island at our Smithtown practice.