Diagnosing & Care for Cataracts

A lot of people with untreated cataracts suffer from visual impairment and even become totally blind if they don't receive treatment for long periods. Most cases of this eye condition continue to become worse as the years go by. Since it's impossible to precisely predict how fast your cataract will worsen, you must get routine eye examinations even when you don't notice vision changes. Don't wait for damage to become too severe before you visit your eye doctor and have your eyes checked. 


How Your Eye Doctor Will Test For Cataracts


A cataract occurs when your eye's lens becomes cloudy. As you know, your lens bends light rays that enter your eye, helping you see. They should be clear. When you have a cataract, it's like looking through a foggy or dusty windshield of your car. Here are some of the common vision changes you'll likely notice if you have a cataract:


  • Blurry Vision.
  • Double Vision.
  • Increased Sensitivity to Light.
  • Difficulty Seeing Well at Night.
  • Seeing Bright Colors as Either Yellow or Faded.


To diagnose cataracts, your eye doctor will perform a comprehensive eye examination, which usually includes a series of tests, including:


  • Slit-lamp Exam. Your doctor will ask you to sit in the exam chair. To keep your head steady during the exam, they'll place an instrument in front of you on which you can rest your chin and forehead. Your doctor may dilate your pupil using eye drops to make any corneal abnormalities more visible. They will use a low-powered microscope, along with a high-intensity light, to look closely at your eyes. During the test, your doctor will inspect all areas of your eye, such as iris, lens, and cornea, among others.


  • Retinal Exam. This is a test that screens the retina found at the back of your eye. Retinal cells process the light that enters your eyes into signals that your brain can interpret. Damage to the retina can cause vision impairment or loss of sight. 


  • Visual Acuity and Refraction Test. This is the test used to measure your vision. The measurement is expressed as a fraction. A standard visual acuity chart ranges from 20/20 to 20/400. When you're evaluated for prescription glasses, your doctor will also measure your refraction. It's represented in diopters and the measurement obtained can be converted into contact lens prescription. 


What Treatments Are Available 


Some people diagnosed with cataracts can improve their vision with prescription eyewear, magnifying lenses, or the use of stronger lighting. Eyeglasses and contact lenses are an excellent option for many patients whose eye disease still hasn't developed into a major issue. But these are only temporary solutions for a progressive condition. Once the cataract has worsened, the quality of life deteriorates as continual reduction of vision takes place. Driving, for example, can be affected and even become dangerous. If your cataract has reached a certain stage where it already impairs your vision and negatively impacts your quality of life, you may consider surgery. The procedure involves the removal of the clouded lens. They then replace it with a plastic intraocular lens with a specific lens power. 


Do you suspect that you may have cataracts? Schedule your eye exam today by calling Grove Eye Care in Richmond at 804-353-3937 or Midlothian, Virginia at 804-888-8998. 

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(804) 353-3937
(804) 888-8998
8048888998 8048888999 14431 Suite B Sommerville Court
Midlothian, VA 23113