Dilated eye exams are crucial for your eye health. They allow your eye doctor to detect early signs of eye problems that could harm your vision. During your appointment, your eye care provider will use dilating eye drops to widen your pupil and look for irregularities in your eyes.
Keep reading to discover some of the most frequently asked questions about dilated eye exams.
What Conditions Can a Dilated Eye Exam Detect?
Dilation allows eye care professionals to assess the optic nerve, macula and the back of the eye. It’s a method used for detecting eye tumors, retinal detachment and other eye problems. Dilated eye exams help diagnose vision-threatening conditions, like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.
How Long Does the Test Last?
Usually, it takes around 15 to 30 minutes for the eyes to open up after applying dilating drops. Four to six hours after, your eyes will usually return to normal. However, each person could have a different reaction to these eye drops. Some experience longer-lasting effects while, for others, they wear off faster.
Is It Safe to Drive After?
While dilation usually doesn’t affect your eyes, it’s best not to drive after your eye exam. Your pupils can’t control how much light enters your eyes while dilated. The glare from outdoors could be comfortable, making it unsafe to drive. A safer option is to have someone bring you home.
How Frequently Should You Have Dilated Eye Exams?
According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), people 60 and older should have a dilated eye exam at least once a year. African-Americans are at higher risk of developing glaucoma, so they must get this exam yearly starting at 40. Do you have diabetes? If so, you need a dilated exam yearly regardless of your age.
Seeing your eye doctor regularly is vital to maintaining good eye health and vision. At Opti-Care, we’re here to assist with your eye care needs. Call us at (410) 795-8670, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.