Cataracts in Technicolor-How They Affect Your Perception of Color

Many people suffer with visual impairment because of cataracts, the clouding of the lens of the eye. Blurred vision is the most common symptom, but age-related cataracts also severely affect color vision as the cataract develops. Not only does the cataract itself change color but it can alter the perception of colors as well, changing certain hues to look faded or tinted. Cataracts not only create color deficiency but can reduce the ability to distinguish between certain colors accurately.

There are 4 stages of cataract development: early cataract, immature cataract, mature cataract and hyper-mature cataract. In the early cataract stage, the lens of the eye is still clear. Symptoms of blurriness will be noticeable along with glare from lights, eye strain and the inability to switch focus between near and far vision. While cataract disease is typically a slow, gradual progression, especially from early to immature stage, by the second stage of development a prescription change will likely be needed as the cloudy lens will have turned slightly opaque. When this happens, cataracts will change high-definition vision with bright colors to dull, tinted-yellow vision. Darker colors such as blue and purple will become harder to differentiate. In addition to cataracts affecting perception of color, the color change can alter the clarity and sharpness of vision.

Cataract surgery will be inevitable by the mature cataract stage. To restore color vision to its vibrancy to see a full spectrum of colors again, having the cataract removed and replaced with an intraocular lens is the most effective remedy. The ability to see colors correctly usually returns within a few weeks of cataract surgery although it is not uncommon to temporarily see blue vision after surgery. Cataracts significantly reduce a person’s blue light perception as the progressive disease has a blue light (short wavelength light) blocking effect. As the brain communicates with the eyes it slowly adapts to the reduced blue color perception. After surgery, the body must reestablish that clear communication to view colors correctly again.

To learn more about cataracts signs and symptoms, visit WEBSITE. To schedule a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose and manage cataracts, contact Pennachio Eye by calling 325-227-1999. 

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