Cataracts

1st August 2022

Musee de l'Orangerie

When cataracts start to develop they are initially small and you may not notice the effect on your vision.  They eventually cause increased blurriness, sensitivity to glare and loss of colour perception.   You may find the cataract affects your ability to distinguish different colours as your vision gradually takes on a brownish or yellowish tinge due to the clumps of protein clouding your lens turning yellow.  This results in the light coming into your eye having a yellow tint. Over time, it may make it harder to distinguish blues and purples and you may feel that colours are less vivid.

No doubt you are familiar with French Impressionist Claude Monet’s Water Lilly series of paintings and Japanese footbridge in his garden at Giverny. Monet would focus on highlighting the variations in seasons, colours and changing light in his oil paintings with the same subject matter.  In 1912 Monet, aware of his failing vision, sought advice from ophthalmologists and was diagnosed with cataracts.  It is particularly interesting to see how his loss of colour perception affected the way in which he painted subject matters.  As Monet’s vision deteriorated, he increasingly used tones of yellows, oranges and reds and a loss of colour discrimination is noticeable.  He commented that “I no longer perceive colours with the same intensity…” Eventually in 1923 Monet had cataract surgery carried out.

Thankfully today cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed so the vision loss that results from cataracts doesn’t have to be permanent.  During your eye examination our Optometrist can check to see if you are developing a cataract and monitor your cataract at each visit, offer advice on which prescription will aid your vision and give you his professional opinion when best to refer you for cataract surgery to replace the cloudy lens.

Harmful UV rays from the sun can accelerate the growth of your cataract, so we would always advise protecting your eyes by wearing polarised sunglasses on bright sunny days or where there is a lot of glare.  Our Dispensing Opticians can assist you with plenty of advice and tips on finding the right sunglasses for your personal taste with the correct UV protection.

Regards
The Gordon Turner Optometrists Team