Your doctor gets a good view of the inside of your eye through dilation. This step of a comprehensive eye exam is especially crucial for people experiencing problems with their vision and eye pain. It also helps detect eye conditions that could lead to vision loss.
A local eye care professional answers some of the most frequently asked questions about dilated eye exams.
What Is a Dilated Eye Exam?
During an eye exam, your doctor will use eye drops to widen your pupils. It usually takes 15 to 30 minutes for the pupils to dilate completely. Once your pupils are dilated, the doctor will assess the condition of the optic nerve retina.
What Conditions Can It Diagnose?
A dilated eye exam can help your eye doctor catch signs of retinal detachment and even eye tumor. It can diagnose common eye diseases that can threaten your vision. Some of these include diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.
How Long Does the Dilation Last?
Following your dilated eye exam, expect your pupils to return to normal after four to six hours. How long your eyes stay dilated depends on how your eyes react to the dilation eye drops. Your pupils are larger while dilated, meaning you might experience blurry vision and light sensitivity.
Is It Safe to Drive After the Test?
While your pupils are dilated, they can’t control how much light passes through your eyes. At this time, you might find the glare from the sun extremely uncomfortable. If you are getting a dilated eye exam or never had one before, it’s best to have another person drive you home for safety reasons.
For your family’s eye care needs, turn to Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry. We offer quality eyeglasses, contact lenses, dry eye treatment and more. Call us at (703) 467-9080, or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.