Cataracts are diagnosed during a comprehensive eye examination, such as that offered at our practice in the Washington DC area. Many factors are considered when making the decision to perform cataract surgery. Click through the tabs below to learn more.
It is important for the eye doctor to determine your eye symptoms and understand how they restrict your everyday life. Questions are asked about your general medical history, including any medications you are currently taking and whether you have any allergies, prior eye disease, and previous surgeries.
Eye charts are used during an eye examination to determine your vision (or visual acuity). Refraction is done to determine your prescription and to see if changing glasses will improve your vision. A brightness acuity test (BAT) may be used to measure if glare is a problem. Potential vision may be checked with a potential acuity meter (PAM) to examine how well the retina and optic nerve function by projecting a bright eye chart through the cataract to the back of the eye.
Your eye doctor uses a slit lamp microscope to examine the front structures of the eye, including the clarity of the cornea and lens. An ophthalmoscope with special lenses is used to examine the back structures of the eye, including retina and optic nerve. Eye pressure is checked with a tonometer. The eye doctor determines if it is a cataract that is obscuring vision and not another disease. This will help the doctor decide if your vision is likely to be improved by removing the cataract. If cataract surgery at our Washington, DC-area center seems warranted, painless laser-guided measurements of your eye will help your doctor determine the best artificial lens implant for you.
If cataracts are present, then you and your doctor can discuss your treatment options. If you are still functioning well and activities are not limited by the quality of your vision, a decision may be made to wait before removing the cataract. If helpful, a change of glasses may be recommended. The decision to have cataract surgery can only be reached after you and your doctor discuss the benefits, risks, and alternatives. You also should discuss the possibility of having Advanced Technology Cataract treatment. Only a cataract specialist can determine if you are a candidate for an Advanced Technology lens.
Surgery to remove cataracts is indicated when blurred vision interferes with enjoyment of activities that are important to you. Cataract surgery may be needed if you have trouble reading, enjoying hobbies, reading street signs, or driving because of blurred vision or glare from headlights.
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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.