Are you thinking about getting a comprehensive eye exam? Do you ever wonder why your eye doctor needs to dilate your eyes?
There are many parts to an eye exam, but the part that is often remembered the most is eye dilation. Most patients do not understand the importance of getting a comprehensive eye exam and eye dilation.
Keep reading to learn more about why eye dilation is important!
What happens when your eyes dilate?
When getting your eyes dilated, it’s done to increase the size of your pupils during a comprehensive eye exam. Dilating your eyes allows your eye doctor to check how healthy your retina and optic nerve are.
If your eye doctor only looks at your eyes without dilation, your pupils will be small. This gives them a very limited view of what is going on with your eyes.
They need to be able to see your optic nerve and macula. When your eyes are dilated, your doctor will be able to see your entire retina.
Why is eye dilation important?
Eye dilation is important because it allows your doctor to clearly see inside your eye. This allows them to diagnose, prevent, and treat conditions that can impact vision loss.
How are your eyes dilated?
Your doctor will use eye drops to dilate your eyes. These eye drops can take about 15-20 minutes before they kick in and dilate your pupils.
The length of time it takes for your eyes to dilate depends on each individual patient’s response to the drops.
How long will my eyes remain dilated?
For most patients, it takes about 4-6 hours for your pupils to go back to normal after dilation. You should not drive home if your eyes are being dilated.
What will eye dilation do?
Patients do experience blurry vision and sensitivity to light from eye dilation. Your eyes will be more sensitive to light because your pupil is bigger than normal.
This means more light can come through. When you know you are getting your eyes dilated, bring your sunglasses. You can also get disposable sunglasses from your eye doctor.
Some patients will experience blurry vision. They tend to notice this side effect when reading.
If you are worried about being able to get home safely or it is your first time having your eyes dilated, have someone come with you to your appointment. They can drive you home and make sure you make it inside.
What conditions is your eye doctor looking for with eye dilation?
Getting your eyes dilated can help detect many conditions. For example, one eye condition your eye doctor looks for is glaucoma.
Glaucoma affects the pressure in your eye and your optic nerve. Another condition your eye doctor will look for is macular degeneration.
When your eyes are dilated, your doctor can clearly see your retina. It is important to remember that there are other conditions your doctor will look for as well.
Are you ready to get a comprehensive eye exam? Schedule yours at South Texas Eye Institute in San Antonio, TX, and make eye health a priority!