If you have ever had an eye exam you have likely had your eyes dilated. Dilation is a painless procedure where drops are used to open your pupils so that your doctor can more easily see the back of your eye.
With a better view of the inside of the eye, optometrists can detect common vision problems and other eye diseases. Diabetic retinopathy, tumors, high blood pressure, infectious diseases, macular degeneration, and retinal detachment are all conditions that can be detected through dilation. Dr. Scott Athans, an eye doctor from the Doctors Vision Center Network in Pinehurst, North Carolina notes, “Over the years, there have been several cases where patients who visit us for a routine exam with 20/20 vision and no other symptoms are diagnosed with tumors, impending strokes, retinal tears, retinal detachments, and damage from high blood pressure or diabetes during the dilated portion of the eye exam ”. Dr. Athans adds, “Dilation is an essential part of a comprehensive exam and for a few minutes of what may be a bit of discomfort for some, it is well worth the time.”
After having your eyes dilated, expect your close-up vision to be blurred and for you to be sensitive to bright light for a few hours. Most offices will provide you with temporary sunglasses that you can wear to make you more comfortable.
By Dr. Scott Athans
Eye Doctor | Spectrum Eye Center Pinehurst, NC
Member: Doctors Vision Center Professional Eye Care Network