A closer look: Lenticular Sclerosis in Cats
The lens is the part of the eye that focuses light and allows visualization of objects at varying distances. Lenticular sclerosis is a very common condition in older cats, as it is part of the natural aging process.
Lenticular sclerosis does not significantly affect cats’ vision and is not a particularly concerning condition in itself. Any major change in vision needs urgent veterinary attention as this is a sign of other, more severe conditions. If the patient’s vision seems to be altered, referral to an ophthalmologist is often necessary as there may be another condition affecting the eye.
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In older cats, lenticular sclerosis can become more advanced and the cloudiness more obvious as time passes. It tends to affect both eyes, unlike some other ocular diseases (such as cataracts) that often only affect one eye or progress independently between both eyes.
Significant lenticular sclerosis can mildly affect vision and create difficulty in distinguishing details from a great distance (often unnoticeable by pet parents). Any more significant change in vision requires prompt veterinary attention, as it is likely due to a more serious underlying condition.
The cause of lenticular sclerosis is an accumulation of lens fibers and compression of the innermost and oldest part of the lens. It is a common part of the aging process.
The symptom may be more prominent when the pupils are dilated.
Testing and diagnosis
The diagnostic process consists of a complete ophthalmic evaluation. A dilated pupil (using topical ocular drops) allows veterinarians to differentiate between lenticular sclerosis and cataracts. Referral to a specialist/ophthalmologist may be required.
Steps to Recovery
Lenticular sclerosis does not require any treatment as it is a natural aging process and does not impact vision significantly.
There is no treatment for lenticular sclerosis as it does not lead to any major complications. Similarly, the prognosis is optimal and no great difference in quality of life is usually reported. In cases of minor vision loss, it might be useful to keep a stable and safe environment at home, such as not changing the position of the furniture.
Lenticular sclerosis is not contagious.
Since lenticular sclerosis is a normal condition associated with old age, there are no preventatives.
Is Lenticular Sclerosis in Cats common?
Lenticular sclerosis is very common in older cats.