Skip to main content
Average ER Wait Time
Checking ER Wait Time
The feed could not be reached
Retry?
Reston Hospital Center
--
mins
Pediatric Emergency Room
--
mins

Diagnosis of Cataracts

The only way to diagnose a cataract with with an eye examination. To detect a cataract, an ophthalmologist or optometrist examines the lens. Other tests evaluate the structure and overall health of the eye. A comprehensive eye examination for cataracts usually includes:

  • Visual acuity test—This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances. This may include a test of your vision under conditions of low contrast and/or glare.
  • Slit lamp exam—This is an examination of the eye using a specialized microscope that magnifies the eye.
  • Tonometry—This is a standard test to measure fluid pressure inside the eye (increased pressure may be a sign of glaucoma).
  • Dilated eye exam—The doctor gives you special eye drops to widen your pupil, which allows better examination of the lens and the structures of the back of the eye. This allows your doctor to examine the lens in more detail to detect a cataract.

Revision Information

  • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research website. Available at: http://www.mayo.edu.

  • The Merck Manual of Medical Information. 17th ed. Simon and Schuster, Inc; 2000.

  • National Eye Institute website. Available at: http://www.nei.nih.gov.