Physical exam for cataracts

A physical examination is usually done to rule out the possibility of other conditions that may be causing vision problems and to examine the eye for the presence of a cataract. The doctor will:

  • Examine the appearance of your eye. The doctor will look for a white area within the dark center opening of your eye (pupil).
  • Evaluate the movements of your eyes. The doctor will look for the lack of ability to move your eyes in any direction, strabismus, and repetitive wandering movements (nystagmus).
  • Examine the response of your pupil to light. The doctor will shine a flashlight into your eyes and watch the tightening (constriction) of your pupil. The doctor will also test your pupil constriction by moving an object (such as a pencil) close to your face.
  • Check your retina to look for any other problems.

As part of your medical evaluation for cataracts, your doctor will also do certain tests to confirm that you have a cataract and to rule out other eye diseases that may be causing vision loss.

Last Updated: September 9, 2009

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