Seeing Blue Color After Cataract Surgery: Causes and Management

blue shade to vision after cataract surgery

 

After cataract surgery, people enjoy improved vision and better quality of life. However with the new lens in the eye, the experience of vision is a a little different from what they had been used to. Some patients notice changes in how they see colors. Most commonly they report things appearing “bluer” in the operated eye, with even whites seeming to have a shade of blue in them. It’s important to understand that this is a normal change after surgery, that is experienced by a lot of people.

In this article we’ll explain why this happens, why some people experience it when others don’t, whether this color change will settle and what you can do about it. We hope that this article will help you enjoy your new vision and drive away the worry of changes in color vision affecting your daily life. 

[ez-toc]

 

Why Color Vision Changes Occur After Cataract Surgery

In order to understand why changes in color vision occur after cataract surgery, you’ll need to understand the following concepts:

  • The natural human lens normally filters out 100% of UV radiation along with some shorter wavelength blue-violet light.

  • As the natural lens ages, it collects pigments that start absorbing greater amount of shorter wavelength light (blue-violet). This blue light absorbing effect is even greater in lenses that develop cataracts.

  • This means that as you age, changes are already occurring in your color vision, with less and less blue light entering the eye. This change happens slowly over time and is often not noticed.

  • In cataract surgery the natural lens, that has developed a cataract, is removed and replaced by a clear artificial lens.

  • Blue light that was previously blocked by the natural lens can now enter the eye, which is why you see a blue tint to everything.

  • This sudden change in color vision feels strange at first, but with time the mind learns and adapts and the feeling of seeing everything in different shades of blue settles.

          Why Some People Experience More Changes in Color Vision Than Others

          Not everyone complains of seeing blue after cataract surgery. Whether or not you experience changes in color vision and the degree to which you experience them depends on the reasons given below:

          • Nature of Your Cataract

          The amount of color vision change that you experience after surgery depends on how dense your cataract was. Cataracts absorb blue light and the denser cataract is, the more blue it absorbs. This means that less than normal amount of blue light was entering your eye and you had been used to seeing lesser blue because of your cataract. After cataract surgery, blue light can freely enter the eye, which feels different from what you had been used to. If your cataract was denser, this change will appear more marked to you and vice versa.

          • Type of Artificial Lens

          The type of artificial lens you choose can also effect color vision after cataract surgery. Different lens materials and have different levels of color filtering properties, which can affect how you see colors after cataract surgery. Some artificial lenses may have a slight yellow tint that blocks blue light similar to the natural human lens. This may help with seeing more ‘natural’ colors after surgery. However, colors may still look different from before surgery because cataracts absorbs light and color, and your eyes had been used to seeing colors in a different way.

           

          • Unique Individual Experiences

          Every person experiences the world in a different way. Most people describe colors as appearing brighter and clearer after cataract surgery and may not notice or experience changes in shades. For others, the changes in color shades may be bothersome. It is important to understand that color vision changes, particularly seeing a blue shade to everything, are temporary. The mind adjusts to the changes with time so that shades eventually start appearing ‘normal’. 

           

          • Other Eye Diseases

          Changes in color vision from cataract surgery are experienced immediately after the surgery. If you develop changes in color vision some time after cataract surgery, they might be due to some other eye disease like macular degeneration or macular edema from diabetic eye disease. Attending regular follow-up visits is important to monitor your vision and address any concerns. Regular eye examinations allow any problems to be picked up earlier, allowing them to be managed effectively.

           

          Are There Benefits Of Seeing More Blue After Cataract Surgery?

          Seeing greater amount of blue light after cataract surgery might have its benefits. Following are some for the possible positives of seeing more blue after cataract surgery:

          • Improved Night Vision

          Blue light is important for vision in dim lighting. Older adults often have difficulty seeing in low light conditions because their retina becomes less sensitive and their pupils become smaller as they age. Removal of cataracts with surgery allows greater amount of blue light to enter the eye, which can improve vision in dim lighting.

          • Effect On Mood, Sleep Cycle, And Overall Health

          The eye needs to detect blue light for regulating sleep, mood, mental processes, and overall mental health. As we age, changes in the lens occur, decreasing the amount of blue light entering the eye . After cataract surgery, people can see blue light better, which may improve sleep, mood, and mental processes like attention, alertness, and memory. Seeing greater amount of blue light can thus have important benefits for overall well-being

          Frequently Asked Questions

          • How Long Will It Take for Color Vision Changes to Normalize After Cataract Surgery?

          How long it takes varies from person to person. However, it generally takes a few months for color vision changes to normalize after cataract surgery.

          • How Can I Prevent Color Vision Changes from Affecting Me After Cataract Surgery?

          If you have cataracts, color vision changes have already occurred in your vision. They are usually not noticeable due to the slowly progressive nature of cataracts.

          If you’re an artist or have hobbies that require perfect color vision, you might worry about seeing blue shades after cataract surgery. One solution is to choose a blue light blocking lens. These lenses contain a yellow pigment that absorbs blue light, similar to the natural lens of a young adult. It’s likely that you’ll still experience some changes in color vision after cataract surgery due to the removal of the cataract. However, with a blue light blocking lens, the color change will be a return to ‘normal’ color vision that you would have had without cataracts.

          • Are Colors Brighter After Cataract Surgery?

          Yes, colors generally appear brighter and more vibrant after cataract surgery. This occurs due to the removal of the cataractous lens which absorbs and blocks light, leading to dullness in the appearance of colors. After cataracts are removed, greater amount and range of light can enter the eye, leading to the world appearing brighter and more colorful.

          • Why Do I See Pink After Cataract Surgery?

          You may have the feeling of seeing pink shades to objects for a couple of days after cataract surgery. This is the after effect of the bright light of the operating microscope used during the surgery. Throughout the surgery, you are asked to look straight into the bright light of the microscope. The strong light temporarily ‘bleaches’ the cells at the back of the eye (in the retina), resulting in the eyes seeing pinkish or reddish shades after cataract surgery. The effect is temporary and lasts only a few days.

          • Why Do I See Purple After Cataract Surgery?

          The reasons for seeing purple shades after cataract surgery are the same as the reasons for seeing blue. When people say they see blue or purple after cataract surgery, they usually mean the same thing. The understanding and naming of colors that are close to each other in shade varies among people due to various factors, including language, learning and culture.

          Conclusion

          Color vision changes, especially the experience of seeing blue shades, are common but temporary after cataract surgery. Understanding the reasons behind these changes, like removal of the cloudy cataract lens and the artificial lens transmitting more blue light, can help ease worries.

          The degree of color vision changes depend of various factors like the nature of cataract, the type of artificial lens and sensitivity to changes. For those relying on accurate color vision for work or hobbies, blue light blocking lenses may be a helpful option. Most people adjust to the color vision changes after a period of a few months and start seeing colors normally. 

          Seeing greater amount of blue light can have its benefits like improving night vision and better mood, sleep, memory, and overall mental health

          It is important to have regular follow-up appointments with your eye doctor after cataract surgery to track your progress and discuss any concerns.

           

          References

          Billy R Hammond, Vidhyapriya Sreenivasan & Rajaraman Suryakumar (2019) The Effects of Blue Light–Filtering Intraocular Lenses on the Protection and Function of the Visual System, Clinical Ophthalmology, 13:, 2427-2438, DOI: 10.2147/OPTH.S213280

          Nolan Adams, Ryan Hakim, Omer Iqbal, Michael Wesolowski, James McDonnell; The Effect of Blue-light-blocking Intraocular Lenses on Sleep, Mood, and Circadian Rhythm in Diabetic Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):2870 – F0007

           

           

          Improve your vision.

          Boost Your Vision! Get the Latest Updates with the Eye Info Pro Newsletter!

          Leave a Comment

          Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

          Scroll to Top