Why Is Eye Dilation Necessary?

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 23-Jan-2014

eyedilationsmallGetting 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
  • Glaucoma
  • 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.

Categories: Eye Exam, Eye Surgery
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