Medical history for cataracts

The diagnosis of a cataract is usually based on symptoms, health history, and a physical exam. If you have symptoms of cataracts—such as cloudy or fuzzy vision, problems with glare, double vision, or frequent changes in the prescription for your eyeglasses or contact lenses—the doctor will often want to know:

  • What vision problems you have been experiencing and how long you have had the problems.
  • What effect the symptoms have on your daily activities.
  • Whether you have a medical condition, such as diabetes or glaucoma.
  • Whether you have had an injury to your eye.

If a child is suspected of having a cataract, the doctor will also want to know whether:

  • The child's eyes have been checked before.
  • The mother had any infections (such as chickenpox) during the pregnancy.
  • The child scowls, squints, or shields his or her eyes when in bright sunlight.
  • The child's eyes do not move together in the same direction or focus on the same point. This is called strabismus.
  • The child's eyes have repetitive wandering movements (nystagmus).

Last Updated: September 9, 2009

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