A regular eye exam examines the eyes’ eyesight and exterior to discover superficial problems. A dilated eye exam checks the eye from the inside. The painless procedure detects things your eye doctor can’t see on the surface.
Dilate means widen, so a dilated eye exam widens the pupil. Using eye drops, the doctor will get a good view of the eye on the inside after 15 to 20 minutes of waiting. The doctor will shine a light and examine each dilated eye. If something’s amiss, the eye doctor will find solutions to reverse the side effects before it gets worse. Specifically, it detects warning signs of eye diseases related to diabetes, tumors, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, high blood pressure, vasculitis, head injuries, and infectious diseases. Doctors also search for eye damage in the optic nerve.
Along with the manual examination, your doctor will perform two supplemental tests. The tonometry test measures eye pressure using a device that puffs air into the eye or placing a sensitive tip as close to the eye as possible. It measures the chances for glaucoma. A visual field test measures side vision. This glaucoma test makes sure your side vision is functioning properly. Last, the visual acuity test measures the vision at various distances.
Consequently, some eye drops contain a temporary burning sensation. To combat this, the eye doctor may add a second drop to numb the eye. Blurry vision, sensitivity, and a mouth tasting like medicine are possible side effects. Nevertheless, the lasting effects remain a few hours after the procedure. The doctor recommends sunglasses to patients in outdoor light until the drops wear off. It’s best to have someone drive for you while your eyes are in dilated mode. There are alternatives to eye dilation, yet nothing comes close to what it detects.
Regardless, your eye doctor will determine if you need eye dilation. The following situations require eye dilation on a 3-6 month basis.
• Aging patients, specifically anyone over 18
• Bad eye problems or health problems affecting the eye that are hereditary
• Sudden eye symptoms or vision problems
• Eye injury or eye trauma
• Findings from previous eye exam and dilations that are serious enough to require a follow up.
It is vital that patients receive an eye dilation examination yearly partnered with a traditional exam. The doctor may discover something requiring immediate attention. Prevention and proactive behavior is always welcome in eye health.