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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How are cataracts diagnosed?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 9

    Thanks

    Have been in private practice for 35 years and specialise in assessing eye diseases and giving professional advice regarding these conditions. With the installation of … View Profile

    The most common way to see a cataract is with an opthalmoscope ,this is like a small torch the optometrist or even your gp can use to see in the pupil area if there is any clouding or hardening of the lens ,causing the loss of vision,a Slit lamp is more often used by optometrist who have this as a standard instument in their clinics.

  • 10

    Thanks

    Dr Colin Clement

    Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)

    Cataracts are a hardening and/or discolouration of the natural lens within the eye. Cataracts can affect vision in many ways including reducing vision clarity, desaturation of colours, increasing glare and changing spectacle correction. The diagosis is confirmed by slit lamp examination of an eye that has had pupil dilatation. Surgical removal of the cataract improves the quality of vision.

  • 15

    Thanks

    Dr Jay Yohendran

    Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)

    Dr Jay Yohendran graduated with Honours from the University of Sydney Medical School in 2001, and was awarded the Clay Prize in Ophthalmology. Prior to … View Profile

    Cataracts develop as a normal part of the ageing process. By the age of 60, about half of all adults will have some cataract formation.

    The earliest symptoms can begin with glare and sensitivity to bright light. Later, as the cataract continues to worsen, haloes may appear around lights. Haloes are especially noticeable when driving at night: at the same time, night vision typically decreases. Vision typically becomes more blurred, hazy and foggy. Colours often become duller and darker. The power of the eye changes, with the becoming more short-sighted. As a result, some patients find that their reading glasses are not needed, although the clarity of the vision is diminished.

  • Dr John H. Chang

    Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)

    Dr John Chang is a Sydney-based ophthalmologist with specialist training in cataract surgery, medical retina and comprehensive ophthalmology. At his Strathfield practice, Dr Chang provides … View Profile

    Further to the excellent answers by my colleagues, I would like to add that reduced vision such as difficulty with reading or driving may be caused by other important eye conditions, instead of or in addition to, cataracts.

    Hence, a detailed and comprehensive eye examination is required by an eye health professional to diagnose and grade the severity of cataracts (clouding of the lens) but also to detect any other eye diseases that can occur more commonly with increasing age, such as macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma. Such eye examinations involve specialized instruments such as the slit lamp biomicroscope and scans of the retina and optic nerve (eg. OCT scans). 

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