Your eye test for cataract2020-09-04T12:19:23+10:00

Your eye test for cataract

Cataracts are most commonly diagnosed by an optometrist.

Your optometrist is the best person to perform an eye test for cataract. They can examine your natural lens for cloudiness using a special magnifying light (or slit-lamp biomicroscope).  They can even see early cataracts.  Cataracts are a normal part of the ageing process of the eye.

Your lens becomes yellow at first and then develops cloudy areas. Your cataract may start to interfere with your quality of life. Cataract may limit your ability to drive or read. That’s when it’s time to talk to an eye surgeon about having your cataract removed in a microsurgery procedure.

At The Eye Practice, we perform the following tests:

Retinal imaging

The retina can be viewed using a powerful magnifying lens. At The Eye Practice we routinely photograph your retina and keep these images with your records for future comparison.

Retinal imaging.

Slit-lamp exam

Our optometrists can view the front of the eye using this instrument. By using a high-powered lens, we can also see your retina.

OCT

Cataract often occurs with other eye diseases, such as macular degeneration.

Many of the retinal changes that occur in macular degeneration happen under the surface where we can’t see them. But OCT can. OCT allows us to take an image of the deeper layers of the retina to see what is going on under the surface. This allows us to pick up the signs of macular degeneration before the outward signs appear.  For more on how OCT works, see our OCT page.

What if my eye test shows I have cataract?

If your eye test shows you have cataract, treatment depends on your symptoms. Sometimes it’s best to remove a cataract sooner rather than later. This may happen if they are very dense or if you have other eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Usually, however, cataract surgery is not indicated until you feel your vision is no longer good enough for the things you enjoy. This depends on your age and whether you are retired or not. If you don’t drive at night and are retired, you may be happy to put up with early or moderate cataract. Someone who drives a lot at night or likes to do needlework etc. may find even early cataract is impacting on their quality of life.

Most people with early disease just require a cataract eye test every year to see how they are progressing. If the cataract starts to impact your vision, it’s time to see the surgeon.

What happens after my cataract eye test? Do I need a referral?

If we find a cataract that is significantly impacting your quality of life, we will refer you to an eye surgeon. Cataract micro-surgery is the only effective treatment.  We work closely with several highly-experienced eye surgeons. When they remove your cataract, they can also reduce or eliminate your need for glasses after your surgery.  Whether you need glasses or not, you will still need to have regular eye tests – usually annually – for the rest of your life.

Worried about your cataract eye test? Most early cataracts simply require monitoring. Call The Eye Practice on (02) 9290 1899 or make an appointment online.

Eye tests explained

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