Diagnosis Ophthalmology & Optometry


To make a diagnosis of cataracts, you will first have a dilated eye exam, in which drops are placed into your eye to make your pupil dilate, or widen. Your ophthalmologist will then use a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and optic nerve for any signs of damage. After the exam, your close-up vision may be blurred for several hours.

Other tests include:

  • Refraction Test
  • Slit-lamp Exam: A slit-lamp is a special type of microscope that allows your ophthalmologist to examine your eye's cornea, iris and lens in small, detailed sections.
  • Retinal Exam: Using a slit-lamp or special instrument called an ophthalmoscope, your ophthalmologist will look through your pupil at the vitreous, retina and other structures located inside the back portion of your eye for signs of cataracts or other eye diseases.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.