Do you HAVE TO dilate my eyes?
Short answer: Yes! It’s not something we have to do every visit but it certainly helps once in a while (or if there’s been a change in your medical history or you’ve been hit in the head). Let’s start with what this little drop physically does to the eye. Once a optometric professional administers the drops, the medication essentially presses pause on the muscle that constricts the iris. Therefore, your pupil (after 15 minutes) is wide open and you’ll feel some light sensitivity and you will not be able to read as well for a few hours. Driving will be ok though, it will not effect your distance vision.
Upon inspection of your eye, the Doctor will be able to see 100% of the back of the eye. This means she can check for retinal holes or tears and any pigment changes like freckles. These are all things you can not feel in the eye but the first two can cause permanent vision loss if not detected early. Otherwise, a dilated exam can give a great picture of your overall health. Without a dilation everything we just mentioned will be left a mystery. If we don’t look, we don’t know.
We’d be happy to schedule an appointment for you to come in for a comprehensive eye exam.