HOW ARE CATARACTS DIAGNOSED?

Dr. Jim Martin 05/31/2016

older-man-eye-exam.pngIf you are experiencing clouded or blurred vision, you may have cataracts. Cataracts can develop in one or both eyes, although they don't spread from one eye to another. Typically the result of the normal aging process, there are other causes of cataracts, including cataracts that can form after surgery for other eye problems; cataracts that can develop after a traumatic eye injury; congenital cataracts; or cataracts that can develop after exposure to some types of radiation.

What Happens When A Cataract Forms?

A cataract affects the part of the eye known as the lens. Your retina records images when the lens focuses light on it at the back of the eye while also adjusting the eye's focus. While the lens is made up of mostly water and protein, the protein may clump together and start to cloud a portion of the lens, creating a cataract.

How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?

Cataracts are diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam done by your eye doctor. The exam will include the following tests:

Visual Acuity Test
This is the test you're probably most familiar with, or perhaps most associated with an eye exam. This eye chart test measures how well you see at distances to assess the sharpness and clarity of your vision.

Dilated Eye Exam
Dilating your eyes opens your pupils so that your doctor can more clearly see the back of your eye. Your doctor will use at special magnifying lens to check for damage and other problems with your retina and optic nerve.

Tonometry
This test measures the pressure inside your eye, which is known as intraocular pressure. It measures this by recording the resistance of your cornea to pressure under a small microscope known as a slit lamp. Another type of tonometry, called non-contact tonometry, measures pressure on your cornea with a puff of air. Numbing eyedrops are not needed for this type of test, and it's the easiest way to test children.

How Are Cataracts Treated?

Changing your glasses or contacts prescription can temporarily correct the vision issues caused by cataracts, but surgery is usually needed to eventually remove the cataracts. Surgery is usually done only when your vision changes affect your daily lifestyle. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure in which a small incision is made in your eye and this opening is then used to remove the cloudy substance.

The eye professionals at Broome Optical in Amarillo recommend regular eye exams to check for potential issues such as cataracts.Make your appointment today!

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