Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Eye and Vision Care

Vision Problems

04/05/2010

Question:

I HAVE WORN READING GLASSES FOR SEVERAL YEARS ABOUT 3 MONTHS AGO I STARTED SEEING LIKE A HALO OR DOUBLE IMAGE OF LETTERS AND EVERYTHING. EYE DOCTOR SAYS I HAVE A CATARACT BUT NOT READY FOR SURGERY DOESN`T KNOW WHY I AM SEEING LIKE I AM. DO YOU KNOW ANY REASON FOR MY VISION PROBLEM IT BOTHERS ME ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT WHEN DRIVING OR ANYTIME I TRY TO READ. MY FATHER HAD MACULAR DEGENERATION AND CATARACTS. MOTHER ALSO HAD CATARACTS. I HAVE ONE EYE THAT IS LAZY OTHER IS OK COULD THIS SOMEHOW BE CAUSING MY PROBLEM. MY EYES ARE VERY DRY HAVE BEEN GIVEN DROPS FOR THAT.THANKS FOR ANY ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE ME.

Answer:

There are many possible explanations for seeing halos or a doubling of images. 

Even fairly early cataracts can cause this and tend to be especially bad with night driving.  The decision about when cataracts are "bad enough" to have them removed is influenced by how dense the cataracts are and just how much trouble the patient is having.  So, you will want to make sure that your doctors know how much trouble you are having.

It is also important that your glasses prescription be checked carefully.  As cataracts develop, eyeglass prescriptions may shift a bit.  It could be that part of the problem could be fixed with new glasses for driving and for reading while waiting for the cataracts to be ready for surgery.

Macular degeneration can cause distorted vision, but that does not seem to be what you are reporting.  Examination of your retina during a routine dilated eye examination should be able to determine if there is any problem with the macula that might be contributing. 

It is unlikely that your dry eyes are the cause, unless you are using thick drops that are blurring your vision.  You would know that this was happening if the vision changes when you blink your eyes. 

It is also unlikely that your lazy eye is contributing to this situation, except that you will surely notice any changes in your better eye more quickly than people who do not have a lazy eye might.  (If the eye that has always been your better eye were to get bad enough that your lazy eye becomes your better eye, you might notice a variety of vision issues, but I doubt that that is what is going on at this point.)

I hope this is useful to you in working with your eye doctors to solve your problems.

For more information:

Go to the Eye and Vision Care health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Roanne   Flom, OD Roanne Flom, OD
Professor of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University