Do Cataracts Affect How You See Colors?

Cataracts are generally associated with aging, although there are other—rarer—types that can occur in children and babies. While the latter require special, pediatric care, age-related cataracts are something that will eventually affect all of us if we’re lucky enough to attain a grand old age.

One common question people want to know is if developing cataracts affects how you see color. The simple answer to this is yes—as the condition progresses then it will have a bearing on how you view shades and color.

Read on to discover why this is and what to expect if you’ve received a diagnosis. We’ll also touch on the simple treatment that your eye surgeon will advise once the cataracts reach a certain stage.

Cataracts, Color, and Other Symptoms

  • Cataracts and color
  • Other symptoms of cataracts

Cataracts and color

Cataracts are caused by proteins within the eye clumping together on the lens within the eye. They do this over an extended period—typically many years—but eventually this begins to prevent the free passage of light through the eye.

In turn, this blocks the light signals being transmitted via the optic nerve to the sight region in the brain. Therefore, we lose the ability to determine the small nuances that we see as color and shades of color.

The changes are subtle and occur very slowly—we might not even notice the first stages. However, colors will gradually become more faded and take on a brown or yellow tinge. As the disease progresses, the ability to distinguish between darker colors, such as blue and purple, decreases.

Other symptoms of cataracts

Color fade isn’t the only symptom of cataracts. As this worsens, so too is the likelihood of:

  • Seeing halos around a light source
  • Reduced vision in dim light
  • Having to bring items closer to your eyes to focus on them, such as reading small print
  • Increasingly frequent prescription changes
  • Lights appearing too bright
  • Cloudy, blurred, and/or double vision

Untreated cataracts will, eventually, cause total loss of vision. The condition is the leading cause of blindness throughout the world.

Treating Cataracts

  • Laser cataract surgery

Laser cataract surgery

Thankfully, we don’t have to put up with the visual deterioration caused by progressing cataracts. A simple surgical procedure can remove the diseased lens and replace it with an artificial one. These are known as intraocular lenses (IOLs) and come in different types depending on your needs.

These lenses are forever advancing. When cataract surgery was first pioneered, there was only one choice of lens—the monofocal. These allowed for focus at a single distance, either near or far, with eyeglasses being used to complement good all-round vision.

Today, there are multiple advanced lenses that can address virtually every refraction error in those who need cataract surgery. Bifocal, trifocal, toric, crystalens, and more—this new generation of intraocular lenses mean that for many, their eyesight post-cataract surgery can be even more efficient than it was before the disease took hold.

The surgical procedure itself has also evolved, with many people now opting for laser cataract surgery that provides pinpoint precise location of the IOL within the eye. Astigmatism treatment can also be carried out concurrently, if needed.

Experiencing Cataract Color Problems? Get the World’s Best Treatment at the WBEC

While cataracts do cause us to experience color fade and other symptoms, during the early stages they are usually asymptomatic. That’s why it’s essential to have regular eye exams so that they’re diagnosed at the earliest opportunity.

The West Boca Eye Center is a globally-renowned clinic that specializes in the ultimate cataract diagnosis, monitoring, and advanced treatment. Headed by Dr. Brent Bellotte, an ophthalmologist who’s been pivotal to the advancement of cataract treatment, people travel across the US and the world to benefit from his expertise.

Discover more at https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/cataract-surgery/ and get in touch today to book a cataract consultation.