Would be grateful for some advice on this. For as long as I can remember, when I look at a light I can see a star effect from it. This is more noticeable when it is dark. It means that when I am cycling home, wearing my glasses, all of the lights - car lights, street lights etc - have elongated star patterns coming out of them. I find it really affects my ability to see at night, especially when it is raining - my glasses get drops on them, all of the drops have these stars refracted through them, and I can barely see in front of me. I have spoken to my optician about it and he said it is just crystals in my eyes (! - is that even a thing?) and nothing could be done about it. But I really don't feel safe on the road. What can I do? I can't wear contacts.
You can get a special coating (anti glare) on your glasses' lenses to stop it. I had the same thing and it does work. You then have to be careful to not use handwash to clean your glasses though, as it can wash off the coating!
You are not getting the right advice from your optician.
This is not normal in any sense and 'crystals in the eyes' is not a proper diagnosis.
The reason I answered your post is because a friend of mine has just been diagnosed with glaucoma that eventually made him almost blind at one point.
"About 10% of patients with closed angles present with acute angle closure crises characterized by sudden ocular pain, seeing halos around lights, red eye, very high intraocular pressure (>30 mmHg), nausea and vomiting, suddenly decreased vision, and a fixed, mid-dilated pupil. It is also associated with an oval pupil in some cases. Acute angle closure is an emergency."
Seeing halos round lights sounds a lot like what you are experiencing. Glaucoma can be very slow to develop over years or have very sudden onset symptoms. My friend had symptoms for years including eye pain and increasingly impaired vision and then suddenly agonising pain in his eyes and near total blindness which caused him to go to A&E.
Really I think you need to go to a doctor and get a referral to a eye hospital to check the symptoms especially the pressure in your eye. It could be any number of things but not being able to see properly is not normal and by the sound of things is becoming life limiting and dangerous.
it's way more likely to be grubby specs than serious advanced glaucoma
An anti-reflection coating will help reduce light halos/starring for night driving and the like, on the down side you will be forever polishing your specs as the coating shows every mark. A clean coated (up to date prescription) lens will be very effective against the sort of thing you describe.
Some eye conditions can exacerbate glare, some people are just more sensitive to it.
Don't worry about acute angle glaucoma....you'd know if that was happening and then rain on your specs would be the least of your worries. I'd expect regular eye exams to be monitoring your eye pressure regardless as a routine part of the exam.
Thanks for all the replies, folks. Looks like anti-glare is the way forward then. I don't think I've got glaucoma because they do test for that when I get my eyesight checked and also I have always seen stars from lights.