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Difference between Mature Cataract vs Immature Cataract

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

What Is Mature Cataract?

A mature cataract is one in which cortical fibres become opaque in nature, it may appear milky and white in colour. The cataract spreads to the edges of the lens in this stage and has a considerable effect on vision. At this stage of the cataract, your quality of life is affected and you may not be able to perform daily activities smoothly. Cataract removal surgery must be considered immediately.

Over the years, I’ve observed that the risk of developing cataracts increases with age. It’s important to take care of your overall health and avoid risk factors like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and prolonged sun exposure. If you have diabetes or are taking certain medications, it’s essential to manage these conditions effectively to reduce the risk of cataracts. Regular eye check-ups can help detect any early signs of cataracts, ensuring prompt treatment if recieved.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

What is Immature Cataract?

An immature cataract is one in which the eye lens has become cloudy, slightly opaque, in the centre. At this stage, your ophthalmologist would recommend new glasses and anti-glare lenses, and progression of an immature cataract takes up to several years but you will experience slight discomfort while reading and may ask for increased light. 

In my experience, I have seen that taking simple steps can help avoid cataracts and protect your eyes. Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim when you’re outside can shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Using protective eyewear during certain activities and quitting smoking can also make a significant difference.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Table of Differences between Mature and Immature Cataracts

Different FactorsMature CataractImmature Cataract
Causes> Increased age
> Excessive alcohol consumption
> Family history of cataracts
> Untreated cataracts in the early stages
> Ageing
> Injury 
> Inherited genetic disorders
> Past eye surgery or medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
> Long-term use of steroid medications.
> SmokingExcessive exposure to sunlight
> Radiation treatment in the upper body
Symptoms> Impaired vision
> Visible white spot in the eye
> No iris shadow
> No red reflex
> Partially impaired
> A slowly progressing white spotIris shadow
> Plane mirror examination – Black opacity against a red background
DiagnosisThe eye examination includes:
> Purkinje image testing: These are reflections from light, particularly infrared (IR) light, of the eye. All four Purkinje images are absent in this condition.
> Visual acuity test.
> Slit-lamp examination 
> Retinal exam to open your pupils wide (dilate) and examine the back of your eyes (retina).
> Applanation tonometry test to measure fluid pressure in your eye. 

> All four Purkinje images are present in this condition.
Treatment options that can be advised by doctors
> Extracapsular cataract surgery is meant for an advanced cataract that might be too dense to break easily. A larger opening is made in the eye to remove the lens in one piece and then the surgeon inserts the new artificial lens.
> Change in eyeglasses or lens
> Phacoemulsification cataract surgery, the most common procedure in which the ophthalmologist makes a small opening in the eye to use (ultrasound) or a laser and breaks the lens. The fragments of the lens are removed and a new plastic lens is placed.
Prevalence> Age-related cataracts typically progress and mature after age 55 > Younger patients, including some infants at birth, may have cataracts. 
> People aged 40-50 develop immature cataracts in one or both eyes.
Complications> Affects your daily life and interferes with normal activities like driving a car or watching television.
> Chances of complete vision loss 
> Worsening vision 
> Leads to mature cataracts


The difference between mature and immature cataracts is not very easy to define, it is possible for you to confuse between the two conditions as their symptoms are very similar. It is important to consult an ophthalmologist to get your condition diagnosed properly. If you suffer from an immature cataract, it is best to discuss surgery so that the condition doesn’t progress and leads to a mature cataract over time. Never self-medicate if you have any of these two conditions, as it may cause other health complications or worsen your condition.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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