Dilation is part of a thorough. You may think itБs a hassle. But it gives your doctor a good look inside your. ItБs especially important if youБre having
or problems, or if youБre more likely to get certain eye diseases. Normally, your pupil gets smaller when light shines into it. In dilation, your doctor uses special eye drops to force the pupil to stay open. That allows him to see much more of the back of your, including the entire retina, the part of the retina called the, and the optic nerve. During a dilated exam, your doctor can spot problems like a torn or or an eye tumor. They can also diagnose and monitor common eye diseases that can take away your sight: : Signs include vessels that leak, swell, or grow abnormally in the retina. : Your doctor looks for damage to the optic nerve. Age-related : Protein or pigment buildup and unusual growth of vessels are symptoms of a breakdown of the macula. How Long Does It Last? EveryoneБs react differently to the dilation drops. It usually takes 15 to 30 minutes for your pupils to open completely. Most people are back to normal within about 4 to 6 hours.
But for you, the effects could wear off more quickly, or they could last much longer. Can I Drive? Dilation doesnБt typically affect your distance. But because your pupils canБt control the amount of light going into your eyes, the glare outside may bother you. For some people, that makes it unsafe to drive. If youБve never had your dilated, get someone else to drive you home from your appointment. Once youБve had it done, youБll know whether dilation means you canБt drive after an exam. Whether or not you get behind the wheel, itБs a good idea to bring with you so you can shield your eyes after the exam. A thorough, dilated exam allows your ophthalmologist to do a complete exam of the retina, and that is important to do throughout your life, as several eye diseases and conditions are detected at their earliest stages during a thorough eye exam: Prescription Only? On the other hand, of the University of Utah s Moran Eye Center notes, Dilation isn t always required. In fact, if you are seeing your eye doctor solely to get a prescription, dilation induces potential changes to a prescription that aren t present in the normal state of the eye when the iris/pupil is not dilated.
The exception is when we re examining young children. We dilate because they have a greater capacity to accommodate and to allow the doctor to use an objective measure to confirm their prescription (i. e. retinoscopy) if they re not very cooperative. Of course, it s always important to dilate if we want to do a complete exam of the retina. Factors your eye doctor considers when determining whether eye dilation is necessary: Age. The risk of eye diseases increases with age particularly over age 40. Eye health. If you ve experienced eye diseases that affect the back of the eye, such as retinal detachment, you may have an increased risk of future eye problems. Overall health. Certain diseases, such as diabetes, increase the risk of eye disease. Reason for the exam. Are you in good health, under 40 and wondering if you need vision correction? You may not need a dilated exam this time, but know that you should have one at least every few years and more frequently as you get older.