Cataract and glaucoma are two different eye abnormalities affecting the community. It is necessary to understand clear differences between them. Following are listed few differences that you can understand easily.
Difference in definition:
Glaucoma is a disorder of eye in which optic nerve is damaged. Cataract is an abnormal condition of eye in which eye lens or surrounding transparent membrane is affected which provide barrier in the passage of light.
Difference in meaning of words:
Cataract is derived from Latin word “cataracta” meaning large water fall or a sudden rush of water or great downpour and it also derived from Greek word” kataraktēs” meaning down-rushing . Glaucoma is derived from Greek word “glaukōma” meaning clouded or blue green hue.
Difference in people affected:
According to the “Glaucoma study” there are almost 4 million people in US who are suffering from glaucoma but cataract is affecting 22 million US people. It means that cataract is much more common in the community if we compare with glaucoma.
Difference in pathology:
In case of cataracts lens of the eye become cloudy but in glaucoma optic nerve is damaged due to eye injuries which raises intraocular pressure.
Difference in sign and symptoms:
In cataracts patient may suffer faded shades, blurred vision, and glare sensitivity whereas patient suffering from glaucoma often remain asymptomatic. Here there is slow loss of eye sight which is also called as “tunnel vision” but it is very sever and can lead to blindness.
Different in types:
There are different types of glaucoma as Open-angle (chronic) glaucoma as
- Angle-closure (acute) glaucoma
- Congenital glaucoma
- Secondary glaucoma.
Cataracts are also of different types named as
- Age-related cataract
- Cortical senile cataract
- Senile nuclear cataract
- Congenital cataract
- Secondary cataract and etc.
Difference in treatment:
The goal of treatment in cataracts is to remove the faulty lens. So Ophthalmologists often replace the cloudy lens with new synthetic lens. Goal of treatment in glaucoma is to reduce the intraocular pressure. For this different types of medications are used and even sometime surgery is required to remove the accumulated eye fluid.
- Zigler JS Jr, Datiles MB III. Pathogenesis of cataracts. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane’s Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011:chap 72B.
- Howes FW. Indications for lens surgery/indications for application of different lens surgery techniques. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 5.4.
- Anderson DR. The Optic Nerve in Glaucoma. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane’s Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:chap 48.
- Kwon YK, Caprioli J. Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane’s Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:chap 52.
- Giaconi JA, Law SK, Caprioli J. Primary Angle-Closure Glaucoma. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane’s Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:chap 53.
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