Do Cataracts Affect How I See Colors?

By pendletoneye January 4, 2023

With any distortion to vision, color perception may also be affected. Cataracts are the clouding of the eye’s natural lens and progress gradually in four4 stages. In each of these stages, not only does the cataract itself change color but in addition to blurred or cloudy vision, can make certain hues look faded or tinted. In addition, patients often experience reduced ability to tell certain colors apart. This includes an object set against a background of the same color, without contrast it can be difficult to distinguish between the two with a cataract. The same is true for similar colors or variations of the same color, for example, it may be difficult to tell the difference between a blue sock or brown sock even in sufficient lighting. Many patients at Pendleton Eye are surprised at how much brighter, and clearer, colors appear after cataract surgery. 

There are four4 stages of cataract symptoms: early cataract, immature cataract, mature cataract, and hyper-mature cataract. With an early cataract, the lens is still clear. You may notice the beginning symptoms of blurriness as well as glare from lights, eye strain, and the inability to easily change focus between near and far vision. Progression to stage 2 of cataract development can take years. With an immature cataract, usually new glasses are recommended as the cloudy lens may have turned slightly opaque. In these early stages, visual symptoms begin to affect how you see colors. Colors will appear dull and will likely have a yellowish tint. 

By the time the cataract has become a mature cataract, the opaqueness of the cataract will have changed color to either white or amber. It will also spread from affecting just the center of the eye to the edges of the lens as well. Daily activities as well as overall quality of life will be significantly impacted, and the lack of color vision will likely be the least of your concerns. It is typical that in stage 3, your doctor will recommend cataract removal surgery and not allow a cataract to progress to the fourth stage of development to ensure you do not lose your vision, although cataracts can still be removed that late if necessary but as it will have hardened it will be more difficult to remove. Cataracts are the number one cause of vision loss in the United States and blindness worldwide. However, cataract surgery is both extremely common and safe with a 99% success rate. 

For more information on how cataracts affect how you see colors and other concerns, call Pendleton Eye at 760-758-2008 to set up a comprehensive eye exam. The sooner a cataract is diagnosed the better prepared you will be for symptoms You can also select your appointment day and time conveniently online here at WEBSITE