Cloudiness on the lens of the eye is known as cataract. The lens of the eye is normally transparent allowing light to pass through to the retina, a light-sensitive tissue that sends nerve signals to the brain, so you can see well-defined images. If part of the lens becomes cloudy, light cannot pass through easily to the retina and your vision becomes blurred. Cataract can occur in one or both eyes but does not spread from one eye to the other.
When you consult an ophthalmologist for cataract diagnosis, he carries out a detailed examination, along with a microscopic examination of your internal eyeballs. Additionally, he does an exam that is designed to spot the presence of cataract. In the process, the ophthalmologist asks questions in regards to your eye history. There is no pain and other conditions related to vision may be discovered.
The ophthalmologist will want to know the symptoms you present. When informing him, try to be as clear as you can. If you have impaired vision, explain the activities it interferes with.
The ophthalmologist will want to know how long ago your last eye exam was. You must inform him about any injuries, previous eye diseases or surgical procedures you have had. Communicate any eye medications you are taking. Additionally, inform the ophthalmologist if your family has a history of retinal detachment or glaucoma.
You must notice the ophthalmologist of major medical conditions you have. Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, emphysema and asthma can affect your eye health and treatment decisions.
The ophthalmologist will start by examining the exterior surface of your eyeball with a slit lamp, a microscope mounted on a table that allows him to see both the surface and interior of the eyeball with a lot of detail. The slit lamp, for instance, allows him to look at tiny blood vessels in the retina.
Your vision is not affected by conditions that involve the exterior surface of the eye. However, they can be uncomfortable and affect the appearance of your eye. Take as example, a scratch on the surface of the cornea will cause a stinging pain when you blink.
It is during the examination of the interior of your eyeball that the ophthalmologist does a cataract diagnosis. Before this examination, he will use eye drops to dilate your pupils. The reason is that your lens of the eye is situated behind your iris and pupils. With light, your pupils shrink making it difficult for the ophthalmologist to look inside the eyeball. The eye drops evade this reaction temporarily.
In case your cataract diagnosis is positive, the slit lamp allows the ophthalmologist to determine the characteristics of your cataract. Is it diffuse, which means the whole lens is cloudy? Or is your cataract focal, with cloudy patches? To comprehend the process of cataract development, compare it to dust on a car windshield. A layer of dust may cover the whole windshield, and it may be thin or thick, or spots of dirty may appear throughout the windshield. The cloudiness created by cataract may take many shapes as well.