Cataracts: Sensitivity to light and glare
People with cataracts usually have issues with glare or halos which interfere with being able to see surroundings clearly. Cataracts cause light to be scattered inside your eye rather than following a usual path to the retina in the back of the eye. Vision is blurred, you can’t see sharp images and coping with bright light is difficult.
An example of cataracts and glare is discomfort when leaving a dark room and moving into bright sunlight; the light is just too strong. The glare of bright lights can be painful, causing people to squint, look away and eyes may tear up. People may also experience a loss of contrast in dim environments.
Halos are bright circles around a light source, like headlights, appearing when people are in dim poorly lit places. The clouding of the lens can result in diffraction of light entering your eye, causing a halo to appear around light sources.
Cataracts and glare
The easiest way to cope with cataracts and glare is to limit the light coming into the eye. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, wearing tinted glasses or sunglasses with a UV filter to protect eyes from harmful UV rays can reduce glare, helping with light sensitivity.
Although cataracts are not completely preventable, they can be delayed. The simplest and most effective way to is to protect against ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Stay out of the sun. Wear a hat. Wear sunglasses that have a protective coating against ultraviolet rays.
Additional steps you can take to reduce the risk of cataracts include:
- If you have diabetes, ensure blood sugar levels are well controlled
- Give up smoking
- Avoid excess amounts of alcohol
- Make sure to get enough vitamin C, vitamin A, and carotenoids, found in leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach
- Get regular or annual eye examinations, especially after the age of 40.
What do cataracts do?
Cataracts start small and initially may have little effect on your vision. Things might just seem a little hazy. But as cataracts become more advanced, they grow larger and darken with a yellow or brown tinge. The eye lens clouds, distorting the light passing through.
Cataracts and glare become an even bigger issue. If not treated, cataracts can lead to a total loss of sight.
See your optometrist
If you find yourself bothered by glare, bright lights, halos or have trouble with definition in dim light, you may have cataracts. See our Auckland optometrists if your eyesight is bothering you.
It is always a good idea to see an optometrist if you are experiencing any changes in your vision at all.
We can give you a thorough eye check. If caught early, eye conditions can often be corrected. Call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.