How are Cataracts Diagnosed?
At Bascom Palmer, we can diagnose cataracts during a comprehensive eye exam. When you come to us for an exam, you will meet with one of our world-class ophthalmic surgeons and a highly skilled ophthalmic technician. They will perform a thorough clinical examination and may take images or pictures of your eye to evaluate its power and unique characteristics. Your eyes will be dilated during this consultation, which may take two to three hours. If you wear contact lenses, please stop wearing them for two weeks prior to your appointment.
Because preserving and protecting your vision is so important to us, our eye care team may use a variety of tests to confirm the presence of cataracts in your eyes.
- Dilated exams allow your doctor to check your lens for signs of cloudiness, which indicates that you may have a cataract.
- Slit lamp exams give your doctor a magnified 3-D view of your eye, making it easier to spot small abnormalities.
- Visual acuity tests determine if your vision is impaired.
Imaging and Testing
Your care team performs imaging and vision tests to ensure the health of your eye. This process also ensures a highly personalized intraocular lens replacement. Your imaging tests may include:
- Corneal topography imaging scans measure astigmatism in the eye. Astigmatism is a common condition that causes blurred vision. It is the result of an abnormal curvature of the cornea.
- Macular optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging spots irregularities in the retina.
- Intraocular lens biometry imaging measures the power and size of your eye to determine which lens is appropriate to implant in your eye during surgery.
Who Qualifies for Surgery?
Cataracts should be removed when they interfere with regular daily activities like driving or reading. You may be a good candidate for cataract surgery if you have:
- A cataract diagnosis
- Trouble with regular activities like cooking, driving, reading, or taking medicines
- Vision that is:
- Limiting your independence
- Sensitive to light and glare
- Showing ghost images
Cataracts make it difficult to treat other eye problems such as age-related retina changes and diabetic retinopathy. If your eye doctor cannot see your retina through a cataract, they may recommend surgery.
What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
The procedure to remove a cataract takes approximately one hour. You will be awake for some of the procedure but will receive light IV sedation or numbing injection to make you comfortable throughout the procedure.
Your surgeon makes a small incision in the front of the eye and removes the clouded lens. The surgeon then inserts a new, artificial lens personalized to your vision needs.
After surgery, you are closely monitored as you recover from anesthesia. Rest assured, cataract surgery is a “same-day” procedure. You will not need to stay overnight in the hospital.
Why Choose Bascom Palmer Eye Institute?
Leaders in cataract care. In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked Bascom Palmer as the No. 1 eye hospital in the nation for the 20th time. Our world-class surgeons are regarded as leaders in the field of cataract surgery. When you come to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute for care, you have access to the widest selection of lens options and advanced technologies available.
Research-driven treatments. A hospital-based surgical center affiliated with the University of Miami Health System, we care for patients with a variety of medical concerns and conditions. As the region’s only academic medical center, our surgeons and staff stay current with the latest developments in cataract care.
Advanced treatment. A leader in cutting-edge innovation, research, and patient care, Bascom Palmer uses every available diagnostic tool and technology to perform surgery with the utmost precision and safety.
Compassionate care you can trust. Your cataract team of surgeons, nurses, optometrists, and technicians speaks with you and your family about every aspect of your cataract procedure. We listen to your concerns and answer all your questions. We guide you through the entire process with the highest degree of expertise and compassion.