Exams: Eye Dilation
An optometrist considers many criteria before recommending eye dilation. The top four criteria include:
- Age - The risk of eye diseases increases with age. It is highly recommended that seniors have a yearly dilated eye exam.
- Eye health - A history of eye diseases that affect the back of the eye, such as retinal detachments, may increase your risk of future eye problems.
- Overall health - Particular diseases, such as diabetes, increase the risk of eye disease.
- The reason for your eye exam - Certain symptoms may require a dilated examination to accurately determine the cause. Some conditions, that require follow-up examinations, may not need dilation at every visit unless new symptoms or concerns arise.
The eye drops used for dilation cause the pupils to widen, allowing in more light and giving your doctor a better view of the back of your eye. Eye dilation assists your doctor in diagnosing diseases and conditions, possibly at their earliest stages. Some of these include: diabetes, high blood pressure, macular degeneration, retinal detachments and/or glaucoma.
The side effects of eye dilation is that it blurs vision blurry and increases eye sensitivity to light for a few hours. These side effects can result in impaired vision that can great affect an individual's ability to safely drive or work. Consequently, if eye dilation is greatly inconvenient, ask your doctor about arranging another appointment or arrange a ride with a friend or family member. Alternatives to dilation are available, but they typically are not as effective for allowing a careful and thorough examination of the back of your eye.