Eye Exam for Cataract Surgery Diagnosis
Cataracts are a buildup of proteins on the lens of the eye that create a film which makes it difficult to see clearly. Without treatment, cataracts can lead to complete vision loss. While cataracts can be catastrophic, their effects are gradual. As cataracts worsen, the most effective treatment is cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery breaks up and removes cataracts to restore vision. To diagnose cataracts and determine if cataract surgery is necessary, patients must undergo a comprehensive eye exam. At Choate Eye Associates, Dr. Walter Choate offers eye exams for cataract surgery diagnosis to individuals in Nashville, Goodlettsville, and Hendersonville, TN. This type of exam allows Dr. Choate to create a treatment plan that will best manage cataracts and preserve the vision.
When to Schedule an Eye Exam
Cataracts may not produce noticeable side effects when the disease is in its earliest stages. As the condition progresses, patients are likely to notice some changes in their vision. Common cataract side effects include:
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty seeing in low light conditions
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Glares or halos around sources of light
If individuals experience any of the abovementioned symptoms, if they notice any sudden changes in vision, or if they begin suffering from regular headaches, they should schedule an eye exam.
In addition, all individuals should make routine eye exams a priority. In general, people with good eye health should schedule a comprehensive eye exam once every two years, and those who suffer from eye diseases (or those at an increased risk for eye health problems) should schedule annual exams.
What to Expect during a Cataract Eye Exam
There are several different types of tests that may be performed during a comprehensive eye exam. If our doctors are concerned that someone may be suffering from cataracts, patients can expect these tests to be included in their examination:
- Visual acuity test - A visual acuity test measures the eyesight in each eye. This test is generally performed by having a patient read a series of letters off an eye chart.
- Slit-lamp examination - A slit-lamp examination uses a powerful line of light to illuminate the eye so that our doctors can examine each part of the eye, including the cornea, iris, lens, and the space between the iris and the lens. This lets us see abnormalities that may be causing complications.
- Retinal exam - To perform a retinal exam, we apply drops that cause the eyes to dilate. Then, using an ophthalmoscope or a slit lamp, we examine the retina and the lens of the eye to look for signs of a cataract.
Cataract Treatment Options
If cataracts are diagnosed during an eye exam, our doctors will discuss treatment options with our patients. The most appropriate treatment plan will depend on how far the cataract has progressed, and whether the vision has been impacted. Early stage cataracts can usually be managed with certain lifestyle changes combined with the use of prescription lenses. More advanced cataracts are likely to require cataract surgery.
Contact Choate Eye Associates
If you have experienced any sudden changes in vision, it is important that you schedule a comprehensive eye exam as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Walter Choate, send us a message online at your earliest convenience, or call (615) 805-0712.