2020–2021 BCSC Basic and Clinical Science Course™
11 Lens and Cataract
Chapter 6: Evaluation and Management of Cataracts
Clinical History: Signs and Symptoms
Decreased Visual Acuity
Often, the clinical history of a patient with decreased vision and function due to cataract is straightforward, and the patient tells the ophthalmologist which activities have been curtailed or abandoned. Some patients, however, learn of the decline in their visual acuity only after being examined. Others deny that they are having any problems until their limitations are demonstrated or privileges are withdrawn because they are no longer visually competent.
Different types of cataract may affect vision in different ways, depending on incident light, pupil size, and refractive error (Table 6-1). The presence of even small posterior subcapsular cataracts (PSCs) can greatly disturb near vision (reading vision) without necessarily affecting distance visual acuity. Color vision disturbances may be noted by the patient, especially with unilateral or asymmetric cataract.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 11 - Lens and Cataract. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.