Broadway Eyecare
303 Stonebridge Blvd Suite #1 Saskatoon SK S7T 0C7 (306) 664-2638


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Saskatoon, SK / (306) 653-2993

Can an Optometrist Diagnose Cataracts?

Can an Optometrist Diagnose Cataracts?

A senior man wearing glasses and squinting his eyes to see more clearly while holding a phone in his left hand.

Cataracts are a common condition that can affect many people. As you age, the lenses in your eyes may lose some of their transparency, leaving you with cloudy vision. Cataracts can significantly impact your vision and quality of life, and if left untreated, they can lead to blindness. 

Optometrists play a crucial role in the detection and diagnosis of cataracts. Cataracts can be detected during a comprehensive eye exam with several types of modern diagnostic tests, equipment, and techniques. Routine, comprehensive eye exams are essential for detecting cataracts during their early stages and getting the right treatment for your needs. 

The Basics of Cataracts

Our eyes have a clear lens located behind our irises that helps focus light onto our retinas. Cataracts develop when your eye’s lens becomes cloudy, leading to blurred or foggy vision. Cloudiness from cataracts often develops slowly over time, and individuals may not notice significant changes in their vision until a cataract has progressed beyond the early stages.

Cataract Symptoms & Risk Factors

Cataracts can cause blurry vision, double vision, difficulty seeing at night, and sensitivity to light. You may also experience hazy vision, dim vision, or colour dullness with cataracts. 

Age is a significant risk factor for cataracts, but you may also be more likely to get early cataracts if you are affected by certain medical conditions, such as:

  • High blood pressure 
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Cataract development can also be affected by genetics, lifestyle choices, and previous eye procedures or accidents. If you have a family history of cataracts, are a smoker, or have had any surgeries on your eyes or eye injuries, it is important to inform your eye doctor during your annual eye exam.

The Role of Optometrists in Detecting Cataracts

During an eye exam, optometrists can use specialized equipment and techniques to evaluate the clarity of your lens, the health of your retina, and the other structures of your eye. There are several tests we may recommend to get a good view of your lens and look for cataracts, including:

We are also trained to help you manage your cataracts once they have been diagnosed. For example, you may be advised to wear sunglasses to reduce glare and protect your eyes from harmful UV radiation. 

What Should You Expect During a Cataract Exam?

If you are at risk of developing cataracts or experiencing possible cataract symptoms, your eye exam may include several steps. Our goal is to fully examine your eyes, provide a clear diagnosis, and help you determine your next steps. 

Comprehensive Eye Examination

Comprehensive eye exams typically involve assessing visual acuity, checking for refractive errors, and examining the overall health of your eyes. During these exams, we may detect early signs of cataracts, such as changes in lens clarity or opacity, that call for additional testing.

Symptom Assessment

Those experiencing symptoms like cloudy or blurry vision, difficulty seeing at night, or increased sensitivity to light may receive additional testing during their eye exams—especially those who may also have a higher risk of cataract development.

Modern Imaging Technology

Optometrists often use modern imaging equipment, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) devices and slit-lamp devices, to get a detailed view of your eye’s internal structures. These tools aid in the detection and monitoring of cataracts, allowing for a more precise diagnosis and personalized recommendations for treatment.

When Do You Need Cataract Surgery?

Once a diagnosis is made, we can discuss the treatment options available for your needs. Mild cataracts may not require surgery initially. In these cases, we may recommend other ways to support your vision, such as prescribing eyeglasses or contact lenses. With advanced cataracts, the only effective treatment is surgery

While optometrists are skilled in identifying and diagnosing cataracts, the management of cataracts often involves collaboration with ophthalmologists. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who focus on providing eye surgery. 

We can work with your ophthalmologist to help you prepare for your surgery and answer any questions you may have before the procedure takes place.

Post-Surgical Care

After cataract surgery, optometrists often play a crucial role in post-operative care, monitoring patients for any complications and helping make your recovery smooth. If complications do arise, we are ready to evaluate your eyes and provide appropriate treatments. 

Close-up of a senior woman undergoing a slit-lamp exam.

Let’s Talk About Your Eye Health

Optometrists are vital in the early detection and diagnosis of cataracts, contributing to the overall eye health of their patients. If you have symptoms of cataracts, your optometrist is a great person to visit. We can perform comprehensive eye exams that are designed to diagnose this condition and help you manage symptoms. Cataracts can cause significant vision problems, so early detection and regular eye exams are critical for maintaining good eye health. 

If you suspect you have cataracts or are experiencing changes in your vision, schedule an appointment with our optometrists at Broadway Eyecare. A comprehensive eye exam is the first step toward maintaining your eye health and vision. 

Visit Our Office

Broadway Eyecare is conveniently located on the corner of Broadway & Main Street, just around the corner from Oskayak High School.


Unit #130 616 Main Street
Saskatoon, SK, S7H 0J6

Contact Number

Phone: (306) 653-2993
After Hours Emergencies: 306-371-9911
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 306-653-2995

Hours of Operation

Monday: Closed, but we’d be happy to see you at Stonebridge Eyecare, Pinehouse Eyecare, Warman Eyecare, or Brighton Eyecare!
Tuesday: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday: 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (with the exception of long weekends)
Sundays: Closed
Holidays & Long Weekends: Closed

We understand that life is busy, and it isn’t always convenient to take time out of your workday to visit your optometrist. To help serve you better, we offer Saturday appointments and have extended hours on Thursdays.

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