Seeing Pink Instead Of White – Is It Cataracts, MS, or Macular Edema?

You might be perplexed if you are beginning to see white-colored objects in a different hue. If you see pink in your vision instead of white, the cause of that can be cataracts, multiple sclerosis, or macular edema.

Let us look into how each situation affects your eyesight and color perception and the causes and treatments.

The human eye and brain work synergistically to translate the light we see around us into a specific color. The receptors in our eyes transmit the signals to the brain, which makes us aware of the color we are seeing.

The lens allows the light to enter onto your retina, the nerves lining the back wall of the insides of the eye. Light from the retina is transferred via a nerve signal to your brain to interpret what you are seeing.

There are many conditions in which this visual processing of colors maybe be disturbed. It could be diseases affecting the eye, retina, or the brain where the colors are processed.

Reasons you may be seeing pink instead of white 

A diagram showing the different components of an eye.

1. Cataracts

When you develop a cataract, the lens of your eye becomes clouded. The proteins in the lens clump together and makes your eyesight blurry, hazy, or a different color.

The changes associated with cataracts start subtly and are limited to a tiny portion of your vision. But as your cataract progresses, it can become more noticeable.

Until the cataract is large enough to obstruct the transparency of the lens and interfere with the functioning of your retina, they don’t usually cause any symptoms at all.

You may notice that it gets difficult to complete tasks that require sharp vision as you develop a cataract. It will also be difficult to distinguish specific colors. You may see a tinge of a different shade over white-colored objects because of these visual changes.

But with your overall vision worsening every day, you may see a sudden improvement in your nearsightedness. It often happens with cataracts.

With progressively blurry vision, you will experience color changes and, your lens will give a “tint” to your vision. The tinting effects can be a yellowish tinge to a brownish or pinkish color.

At first, this change may be small and unnoticeable. With time, it will be difficult for your to identify colors like shades of blue and purple. It may interfere with activities that require you to distinguish colors.

Risk factors and causes of Cataracts:

2. Macular Edema

The macular is the central part of the retina at the back of the eye and has a very high concentration of photoreceptor cells.

When the blood vessels in the macula get damaged and leak, it causes swelling. It’s known as macular edema. The macula helps us see a detailed, colorful vision and is very important for reading, driving, and recognizing faces.

The symptoms of macular edema are a blurry or wavy vision in the center of your eyesight. The color of your vision seems different from usual. It can become washed out and faded. It can sometimes also add a tinge of pink or red to your eyesight.

Causes of Macular Edema:

  • Diabetes
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Retinal vein occlusion
  • inflammatory diseases
  • Certain medication
  • Eye injury
  • Eye tumor
  • Eye surgery

3. Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease of the brain and spinal cord. In this condition, the immune system attacks the protective sheath of the nerves. As a result, it can cause permanent damage and destruction of the nerves.

A common visual problem with multiple sclerosis is called optic neuritis. It usually occurs in one eye and can cause pain, blurred vision, loss of color vision, dim vision, and changes in color vision too.

For example, a color like red may appear grey. It can also sometimes give a different hue to different colored objects.

It could sometimes lead to white objects appearing pink or red due to the changes in your visual capabilities.

Risk factors for MS:

  • Sex – Females are more likely to develop MS
  • Hereditary
  • Previous history of infections and other autoimmune conditions
  • Race – White people of North European descent are at the highest risk compared to others.
  • Temperate climates
  • Low vitamin D levels and exposure to sunlight
  • Smoking

Treatment options

Cataract

Cataract surgery – During cataract surgery, the doctor will replace the cloudy lens with a clear artificial lens. These lenses are called intraocular lens and, it remains in your eye permanently.

Macular edema

  • Anti-VEGF therapy – Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy is a common form of treatment for macular edema. Drugs are injected into the eye and prevent the growth of abnormal blood vessels and slow leaks from blood vessels.
  • Steroids – Your doctor may prescribe steroids in the form of pills, eye drops, or injections to treat edema caused by inflammation.
  • NSAIDs – If you have macular edema post-cataract surgery doctor will prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as treatment.
  • Vitrectomy – In this procedure, the doctor removes the vitreous gel in your eye, this gel fills your eye and gives it its round shape. He then replaces it with gas or a bubble of air which pushes the edges of the macula allowing it to heal.

Multiple sclerosis

  • Physical therapy – To maintain muscle strength and make life as independent as possible.
  • Medications – Oral and injectable like interferon beta medications, muscle relaxants, and medications for muscle fatigue to treat the symptoms of MS.

Takeaway

If you notice changes in your vision on occasion, it could be something harmless. But if you consistently begin to see changes in your eyesight, it is crucial to tell your doctor.

For conditions like cataracts, macular edema, and multiple sclerosis, your symptoms can get worse over time. Therefore, you must seek the appropriate treatment as soon as you can.