Eyes Home > Diagnosing Cataracts

In order to make a cataract diagnosis, your eye care professional will ask you certain questions and will perform certain tests. Tests used in diagnosing cataracts include visual acuity tests and dilated eye exams. Based on the results of such tests, the doctor can make a cataract diagnosis and discuss your treatment options with you.

Diagnosing Cataracts: An Overview

In order to make a cataract diagnosis, your doctor will ask you a number of questions about your medical history and will perform an eye exam. A cataract diagnosis is made through a comprehensive eye exam that includes:
  • Visual acuity test. This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances.
  • Dilated eye exam. Drops are placed in your eyes to widen, or dilate, the pupils. Your eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and optic nerve for signs of damage and other eye problems. After the exam, your close-up vision may remain blurred for several hours.
  • Tonometry. An instrument measures the pressure inside the eye. Numbing drops may be applied to your eye for this test.
Your eye care professional also may do other cataract tests to learn more about the structure and health of your eye.

Diagnosing Cataracts: Summary

Although you might think you have a cataract, the only way to know for sure is by having an eye examination. Should your eye care professional find one, he or she can monitor it and advise you about any future cataract treatment you may need.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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