Cataracts can be detected and treated at an early stage. In some cases the clouding could be advanced and can be visible to even the naked eye, but in most of the cases, changes in the eye may not be visible without and internal eye examination by an ophthalmologist. In some case the symptoms are not major. Is it advisable to wait for recovery without a proper eye examination and treatment?
Regular eye examinations are important and the cost of the examination varies according to the tests conducted.
Why is an initial examination for cataract necessary?
- To confirm the presence of cataract.
- Rule out other eye illnesses which have symptoms similar to that of cataract.
- Understand the stage of cataract and finalize on the treatment options.
Preparation for an effective initial eye examination:
- During the eye examination the eye needs to be dilated for an accurate diagnosis.
- Tests are normally conducted before and after dilation. You need to inform the optometrist if you have allergy to any medicines/ eye drops.
- Understand the symptoms of cataract or other major illnesses if any and discuss them during the consultation.
- Avoid self driving after eye dilation, as vision is blurred for a few hours.
- Discontinue use of contact lenses, if using any, at least 24 hours prior to the examination.
Comprehensive Eye Examination
Comprehensive Eye Examination is conducted by both Optometrist and Ophthalmologist to determine the type, location and stage of the cataract.
Examination by Optometrist
Detailed history and physical examination of the eyes are reviewed.
- Visual Acuity Test– The impairment in the vision is detected by reading the Snellen eye chart with variation in the size of letters and is read from various distances.
- Refraction Test- It determines the need for changes in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
- Tonometry test for Glaucoma screening– This is a standard test to measure fluid pressure (Intra Ocular Pressure) inside the eye. It is commonly known as the ‘Puff Test’. This test helps to exclude Glaucoma (condition with raised eye pressure) before the cataract surgery.
- Pupil Dilation: The pupils are widened using dilating drops and a retinal examination is performed.
Examination with Ophthalmologist
- Slit Lamp examination: The slit lamp has a special microscope for an eye examination. The structure in front and back of the eye including the cornea, iris, sclera, conjunctiva, lens, retina and optic nerve and the spaces in between are illuminated using a slit lamp to investigate minute abnormalities. A camera on the slit lamp stores the images as required. The examination takes few minutes and is painless. Special preparation is not required for the test. The thin beam of high intensity light on the eye gets a clear view of the internal parts of the eye. The examination is performed under dilation using eye drops. Based on the examination the further treatment is done.
- Fundus Examination for retina: The fundus is part of the retina at the posterior part of your eye. In the fundus examination the pupil is dilated to increase the size of your pupil. The observation of the vitreous, optic nerve, blood vessels, macula and retina is then recorded. Here the retina is checked using an ophthalmoscope.
To avoid complication and have a successful cataract surgery the initial examination plays an important role in the diagnosis and treatment process.
Our ophthalmologist will guide you to the most suitable treatment and choice of lens based on the initial examination.