Dr. Ankita Patil

Senile Cataract

What are the causes of senile cataract?

Many studies have been conducted over the years to discover the causes of senile cataract and to identify risk factors for its development. Some of the causes discovered include environmental conditions, systemic diseases, diet, age, and UV exposure. Age-related cataract is a multifactorial disease with various risk factors associated with each different type of senile cataract. Also, cortical and posterior subcapsular cataracts were related closely to environmental stresses including diabetes and drug ingestion. Nuclear cataracts were more connected with smoking. Research has also shown that alcohol use is associated with all cataract types. Additional causes of senile cataracts include the following:

  • Exposure to radiation from outer space (ex. commercial pilots)
  • Long-term exposure to UV rays
  • Microwave radiation
  • Iodine deficiency
  • Heredity
  • Eye injury and physical trauma
  • Eye allergies
  • Long-term usage of corticosteroids and drugs containing Quetiapine
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity

Symptoms of senile cataract

Routine ocular examinations can spot signs of opacity of the lens. Although other symptoms may not be present, this is an effective way to get early diagnosis and treatment. Common symptoms of cataract include the following:


This is one of the earliest visual disturbances in patients developing a cataract. Glare is also associated with the intolerance of bright light, such as sunlight or the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. Depending on the location and size of the opacity, some patients will experience more glare or dazzle than others.

Uniocular polyopia

This symptom is defined as the doubling or trembling of objects and is also one of the earlier symptoms of this disease. Irregular refraction of the lens due to variable refractive index leads to this symptom.

Coloured halos

Patients often perceive this symptom as the breaking of white light into a colored spectrum due to the presence of water droplets in the lens.

Black spots in front of eyes

These spots are stationary and may be perceived by some patients with cataracts.

Image blur or distortion/misty vision

Loss of vision:

Senile cataract often leads to visual deterioration. This symptom is painless and progresses gradually with age. Patients who experience central opacities have early vision loss and see better when the pupil is dilated due to dimmer light in the evening. Patients with peripheral opacities have delayed vision loss, and vision is improved in the daylight when the pupil is contracted. In patients with nuclear sclerosis, distant vision begins to deteriorate because of progressive index myopia.

Posterior Cataract

Symptoms of Posterior Subcapsular Cataract

All the different types of cataracts, posterior subcapsular cataract develops the fastest. Therefore, it is important to be alert for any sign of symptoms. Some of the posterior subcapsular cataract symptoms are

  • Blurring of vision
  • Glare and halos, especially when exposed to bright lights, like that of headlights at night
  • Defective near vision
  • Diplopia or polyopia, in some cases.
  • Reduction in contrast sensitivity

Posterior Subcapsular Cataract Causes

Do you know what causes posterior subcapsular cataract? Before going for any treatment, it is imperative to know the various causes. This not only helps in effective treatment and healing but also lets you know how to prevent the cause of such cataracts in the future. Below mentioned are some of the posterior subcapsular cataract causes:

  • Ageing
  • Exposure to steroid medications for long duration
  • Blunt trauma
  • Intraocular inflammation
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Skin disorders, such as atopic dermatitis

Subluxated Cataract


  • Symptoms:

    • Asymptomatic
    • Marked astigmatism
    • Decreased vision
    • Monocular diplopia
  • Signs:

    • Portion of the lens presents in the pupillary area
    • Iridodenesis (tremulous iris)
  • Causes include congenital or acquired (trauma).
  • Associated conditions: Marfan’s syndrome, homocystinuria, aniridia and Weill-Marchesani syndrome.

Traumatic Cataract

Traumatic Cataract Symptoms

  •  Discomfort and pain
  •  Reddish eye
  •  Anterior chamber cell reaction
  •  Corneal infection and edema
  •  Blurry vision

Causes of Traumatic Cataract

    • Infrared lights
    • Electric sparks
    • Long Radiation
    • Eye Rupture
    • Long exposure to ultraviolet rays
    • Head Injury