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Cataracts: Your Evaluation

An evaluation will help your eye doctor learn more about vision problems you're having and whether cataracts are the cause. This evaluation includes a medical history, vision tests, and an eye exam. What the doctor learns will help him or her determine the best treatment options for you.

Medical History

You will be asked questions about your vision and any other eye problems you may have. Your eye doctor will also ask about health problems, such as diabetes. Be sure to mention if you are taking any medications, supplements, or herbal remedies.

Vision Tests

Your eye doctor will perform several tests to check your vision. This includes using an eye chart, and testing your vision under different lighting. If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, bring them to the exam. This lets your eye doctor check the prescription.

An Eye Exam

During an eye exam, the doctor uses a slit lamp and an ophthalmoscope to look inside your eye. In most cases, eyedrops are used to dilate (widen) your pupils before the exam.

Discussing Treatment Options

After an eye exam, you and your eye doctor will discuss treatment options. A new eyeglass or contact lens prescription may improve your vision for a while. But surgery is the only way to remove a cataract and replace your cloudy lens. If your cataract isn't keeping you from daily activities, you may wait to have it removed. Together you and your eye doctor will decide what's best for you.

Measuring the Eye

If you decide to have cataract surgery, the length and front curvature of your eyeball will be measured. This information helps your doctor choose a new lens to replace your cloudy lens. Measurement is done with special tools that may include an A-Scan, laser inferometry, or a keratometer.

Publication Source: National Eye Institute

Online Source: National Eye Institute

Date Last Reviewed: 2005-08-05T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2008-09-05T00:00:00-06:00

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Dr. Feiten was born and raised in Wisconsin, attending the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for her undergraduate studies. She graduated from Pacific University with her Doctor of Optometry degree in 1987. She practiced in Kentucky for seven years, receiving the Young OD of the Year Award in 1994.

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