Follow Us:

How Does An Optometrist Diagnose Cataracts?

How Does An Optometrist Diagnose Cataracts?

A cataract is an eye condition caused by a breakdown of the lens of the eye. This leads to a clouding of this crystalline lens that causes vision impairment. Cataracts can happen in one or both eyes, and although this condition is non-infectious it usually happens in both eyes due to a similar rate of lens deterioration in each eye. Unlike other eye conditions, cataracts impact vision without impacting the health of your eyes. If cataracts are surgically removed, regular vision can be restored, but this surgery is often not recommended until the cataracts are fairly advanced. Before cataract eye surgery is recommended, your optometrist will track the progression of cataracts and can adjust your prescription to maintain vision as the condition worsens. These are the eye exams an optometrist will use to diagnose and monitor cataracts.

Different Exams Your Optometrist Uses To Detect Cataracts

Different tests will be administered to diagnose cataracts. If cataracts are diagnosed, you will also receive these tests to monitor the progression of your cataracts. Cataract management is an essential part of maintaining vision and of monitoring when a person may require cataract surgery. Learn more about the role your optometrist plays in cataract management here.

Visual Acuity Testing
This eye test is administered to check your vision. A visual acuity test uses the classic Snellen chart to determine how accurate your vision is. This is the chart that has a selection of random letters where each successive line of letters becomes smaller. The farther down the chart you can read, the better your vision is. Visual acuity tests are a good way to monitor how much cataracts are affecting your vision and can help your optometrist know what prescription you require.

Slit-Lamp Exam
This form of eye testing uses a microscope with a narrow beam of light (the slit) to provide your optometrist with a clear enlarged image of the front of your eye. This test is used to view the condition of your iris, cornea, lens, and the spaces in between each component of the front of the eye. The slit-lamp exam gives your optometrist a 3D image of the front of the eye. A slit-lamp exam will help your optometrist see if there is any clouding beginning to develop in the lens of the eye

Retinal Exam
As the name implies, a retinal exam is used to examine the back of the eye, also known as the retina. The retina is an incredibly important part of vision, as it is the part of the eye that sends signals to the brain so that vision can be detected. Although cataracts occur at the front of the eye in the lens, retinal exams are still an important part of a cataract exam. Retinal exams need to be conducted to ensure that no other eye conditions are happening in tandem with your cataracts and that any vision impairment you are experiencing is due to the cataract and not anything else. Because cataracts can cloud the vision, they can sometimes mask symptoms of other eye conditions.

Cataract Exams From A Calgary Optometrist

Cataracts most commonly develop in people aged 40 and over. If you are in this age bracket, annual eye exams are recommended to diagnose cataracts and other eye conditions. If you are already diagnosed with cataracts, annual eye exams are recommended for cataract management. When properly addressed and treated, cataracts can be a reversible condition that does not need to severely impact your life. Whether you want to check for cataracts or you want to begin a cataract management plan, speak with a Calgary optometrist at Market Mall Optometry. Book an eye exam with a Calgary optometrist at Market Mall Optometry by calling 1-403-286-4884 or fill in the online contact form and take control of your vision today.



Q: Can I lower my risk of developing cataracts?
A: There are some steps you can take throughout your life to reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Read 4 Lifestyle Tips to Help Lower Your Risk of Developing Cataracts to learn more.

Q: What are the risks of cataract surgery?
A: Although there are a few risks associated with cataract surgery, such as inflammation, swelling, bleeding, drooping eyelid, or a dislocation of the artificial lens post-surgery, most complications are mild. Cataract surgery is very common and often produces only desirable outcomes, but your optometrist will go over every possible scenario when you are discussing your cataract management with them.

Q: Why might my optometrist recommend I get cataract surgery as soon as I am diagnosed?
A: Mild cataracts often do not impact vision or they impact vision very little. Prescription eyeglasses are often enough to correct the vision impairment caused by mild cataracts and this is a far less invasive option. Some cataracts never reach the point where they need to be surgically removed and optometrists try to avoid surgery if it is deemed unnecessary. If you are diagnosed with cataracts, discuss your management options with your optometrist and discuss how you would like to treat your cataracts.

Share This Post:

Related Posts

Contact Market Mall Optometry Today!

We are located next to Milestones by the North entrance of Market Mall.
Our knowledgable and professional staff can answer all your questions. Call us today at 403-286-4884 or fill out the form below:

Market Mall Optometry
Have Questions? Call Us Today At

TopProductsVisit UsContact UsBook Online
TopVisit UsServicesBook OnlineCall Us