Getting your eyes dilated isn’t a pleasant experience, but it is
often a necessary part of a
comprehensive eye exam.
During your exam, your eye doctor will use eye drops that cause your pupils
to dilate, allowing more light into your eyes. The wider your pupils are,
the better your doctor can see the back portion of your eye, including
the retina and optic nerve. A dilated eye enables your eye doctor to check
for signs of damage or disease.
Having your eyes dilated can help your doctor diagnose many
eye conditions, including:
- Eye tumors
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Macular degeneration
- Retinal detachment
Eye dilation can even help diagnose underlying health problems that could
affect your vision, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, vasculitis
and infectious diseases.
Side effects of eye dilation
If you have ever had your eyes dilated, you know how it is difficult to
focus on objects close up for a few hours after your exam. Eye dilation
also makes your eyes more sensitive to bright light. If you know you will
have your eyes dilated, you may want to make arrangements to have a friend
or family member drive you home, and you may even need to take the rest
of the day off work.
There are some alternatives to eye dilation, but none are as effective.
A dilated eye exam is often the only way to detect eye diseases in early
stages, which could help save your vision from permanent damage.
Though it can be inconvenient, dilated eye exams are necessary from time
to time, depending on your eye health and the condition of your eyes.
If you have never had your eyes dilated, talk to your eye doctor to find
out if you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam to rule out any
potential eye conditions.