How are cataracts detected?

Cataracts are detected through a comprehensive eye exam that includes:
  • Visual acuity test: This eye chart test measures how well the patient sees from various distances.
  • Dilated eye exam: Drops are placed in the patient’s eyes to widen—or dilate—the pupils. An eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine the retina and optic nerve for signs of damage and other eye problems. After the exam, near vision may remain blurred for several hours.
  • Tonometry: An instrument measures the pressure inside the eye. Numbing drops may be applied to the eye for this test.

Your ophthalmologist also may conduct other tests to learn more about the structure and health of the eye.