Houston Eye Center: How Do Eye Doctors Diagnose Cataracts

One of the treatments performed by eye doctors and eye surgeons everywhere and is one of the most common surgical procedures being done is Cataract Surgery. This kind of surgery is aimed at treating people who suffer from cataracts by removing them. Now cataracts are an eye disease which affects the quality of the lens and negatively affects the vision of the person. Millions of people actually suffer from cataracts but there are also those who are experiencing certain symptoms but not even know that they are developing cataracts. So how it is determined that someone is suffering from cataracts?

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Well with the symptoms that are visible and can be experienced by the person, diagnosing cataracts can be quite easy. However, in order for it to be very accurate, one must seek the help of a professional eye doctor more formally known as an ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist will makes use of advanced testing along with proper diagnosing tools to examine the eye of a person not only for cataracts, but for other eye problems as well that may be hidden beneath the cataract. Today, we are going to take a look at how eye professionals diagnose patients for cataracts.

1.) Visual Acuity Test – This type of test is probably the most common eye test conducted and you might have already taken it. This is when you are asked to read some letters from a chart which is distanced twenty feet away. People with cataracts usually have vision of 20/40 or lower.

2.) Slit Lamp Exam – At first the eye doctor will have your pupils dilate with eye drops. Then the doctor will shine a light on the patient’s eyes to be able to examine for any white spots. This type of test can be done quite early and diagnose cataracts even before vision is affected and Cataract Surgery is needed.

3.) Glare Test – Similar to the visual acuity test patients are asked to read a chart. The only difference is that the patient is being exposed to a variety of lighting conditions. Patients who experience difficulty in reading things under a bright light may develop cataracts.

4.) Contrast Sensitivity Test – This type of test also uses a chart filled with letters. However, unlike the usual Snellen chart which has letters decreasing in size as it goes down, with this test the letters actually fade giving less contrast. People who have cataracts developing have difficulty with reading the lower letters.

5.) Ishihara Color Test – This test makes use of several plates that have colored dots on them. The dots have a variety in color and also form the shape of a number in the center. People who have difficulty in telling colors in the blue and green spectrum are not able to notice the numbers.

6.) Tonometry Test – In a tonometry test the ophthalmologist will direct air towards the eyes allowing for the measurement of the intraocular pressure which is indicated by the vitreous fluid in the patient’s eye. This is usually in glaucoma diagnosis but can also be used for cataracts and determining viability of Cataract Surgery.