At age 71 should one be tested for macular degeneration before cataract surgery?
Yes. Indeed, at any age, a complete eye examination should be performed before cataract surgery. Part of a complete eye examination is careful inspection of the retina through a dilated pupil. Inspection of the retina includes examining the macula, the central part of the retina which is responsible for our sharpest vision. Signs of macular degeneration would show up during this dilated retinal examination.
There are more advanced tests of the macula that can be performed if macular degeneration is suspected or confirmed. These other tests can help determine if there are leaky, new blood vessels or other conditions that require treatment or more careful monitoring, especially if cataract surgery is being considered.
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