Halos and Glares: Why you May See Them

Halos and Glares: Why you May See Them | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo, TXBeing able to formulate a clear depiction of an object boils down to light. Light enters the eye, it travels through its structures, and it focuses on a distinct point in the retina. Simple, right? Not so much. Any disruption of light transfer will affect vision. The way this manifests does not always equate to blurriness; sometimes, the poor refraction of light causes halos and glares to appear around an object. Halos are the “glow” that appears around sources of light when observed at night. Glare can obstruct the field of vision.

Why do these obstructions occur?

There are several reasons that you may start to notice more prominent glares or halos. Some of them include:

  • Eye color. Research has discovered that people with light eyes tend to be more sensitive to light, and all things related to it. This comes down to pigment. Darker eyes are more pigmented, and therefore have a stronger filter for UV light. If you have light eyes, you may be so used to halos and glares that they seem normal!
  • Multiple changes may occur in the eye as we age. One of them is a change to the retina that allows light to scatter, rather than the focus. Scattered points of light create sensitivity referred to as photophobia. This phenomenon also increases the prominence of glares and halos.
  • Refractive eye conditions. One of the most common conditions that may lead to obvious glares and halos is cataracts. A cataract describes the “fogging” of the natural lens. Ultimately, this condition can severely impede vision.

Consult with your Eye Doctor for Proper Care

If you routinely notice halos around headlights while you drive at night, or glares that make you squint, schedule an exam and consultation with your eye doctor. To have such obstructions to vision does not necessarily mean that you have cataracts or another potentially serious problem. Gaining understanding about the cause of your concerns is the first step to resolving or improving them.

Call 806-351-1177 to schedule your visit to our Amarillo ophthalmology practice.


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