Getting your eyes dilated is an important part of a complete eye exam. It is the only way to directly examine a cataract, optic nerve or retina. Patients that have diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration should always expect to have a dilated exam.
The timing of cataract surgery is generally a personal choice depending upon your level of tolerance for blurry vision. In cases of retinal disease, such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, there are few other concerns that may affect the timing of surgery.