In many cases, the diagnosis of a cataract is fairly simple. However, in the prenatal population, although diagnosis is possible it is a bit more difficult. Ultrasounds have proven an effective method to detect cataracts in unborn children. It is imperative that they be detected early if present as cataracts in babies can result in blindness for life if not treated properly and quickly soon after birth. 8
The most common way for an age-related cataracts to be diagnosed is during a routine eye exam. Since cataracts usually develop over a long period of time, in many cases they will not even be noticed by the individual if they are not causing any extreme vision changes. This is why it is so crucial, especially for the elderly, to have their eyes checked by a professional on a regular basis.
During an eye exam, performed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist, there are several tests which may be administered to check for the presence of a cataracts.
- A visual acuity test will measure how well the individual can see while standing at various lengths from the cue card.
- A slip lamp exam uses a specialized microscope to increase the magnification of the eye. The specialist can then examine the eye in detail and up close.
- A tonometry test is a standard test which measures the fluid pressure inside the eye. The major finding in this test, if an increased pressure is detected, is the possibility of glaucoma.
- A dilated eye exam dilates the pupil. In this manner, the specialist is better able to view the lens to check for the present of a cataracts.