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Doctor insights on: How Long Should Eyes Stay Dilated After An Eye Exam

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Dr. David Chandler
382 Doctors shared insights

Eye Exam (Definition)

An eye exam consists of checking the vision. If this is not normal a manifest refraction is done to determine if any glasses are needed. This is the test where the patient is asked which lens is better number one or two. Then the health of the eye is evaluated with a microscope called a slit lamp. To be able to see the back of the eye, the retina, ...Read more


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How long should your eyes stay dilated after an eye exam?

How long should your eyes stay dilated after an eye exam?

Usually 6-8 hours: It depends on what type of drops are used. Phenylephrine and tropicamide are probably the most commonly used at the optometrist or ophthalmologist's office and they last about 6-8 hours in the average person, although they can last a bit longer. Other drops like cyclopentolate last up to 24 hours and Atropine can last for 14 days. ...Read more

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Please explain how long will my eyes stay dilated after an eye exam?

Please explain how long will my eyes stay dilated after an eye exam?

Pupil dilating drops: Usually last for 4-6 hours after they are instilled. Depending on the patient, the drops may last longer, especially with people who are blue-eyed. In addition, some dilating drops are known to last longer. We try to avoid them whenever possible so the drops wear off more quickly. ...Read more

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My friend's eyes remained dilated long after her eye exam, so her dr put drops in her eyes to reverse it. When should the 2nd drops begin to wear off?

My friend's eyes remained dilated long after her eye exam, so her dr put drops in her eyes to reverse it. When should the 2nd drops begin to wear off?

Second drops take: 1-2 hours to bring the pupils back to normal. After this time the puplls should react normally. The reversal eye drops just return the pupils to normal. ...Read more

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After your pupils are dilated when getting an eye exam, how long until they are back to normal?

After your pupils are dilated when getting an eye exam, how long until they are back to normal?

Pupil dilating drops: Usually will last for 3-4 hours after your exam. Occasionally, some patients' pupils are extremely responsive to dilation and the drops could last up to 10-12 hrs. ...Read more

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14-yr-old son. Had eye exam today, drops were given. One eye dilated much more than the other, and is taking longer to contract. Is this normal?

14-yr-old son. Had eye exam today, drops were given. One eye dilated much more than the other, and is taking longer to contract. Is this normal?

Common: This depends upon the amount of the drop that was absorbed, and the internal biochemical neutralizing that the eye accomplishes. Wait 12-24 hours to see the final result which almost certainly will be fine. ...Read more

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What to do if I had an eye exam by an optomotrist that dialated my eyes to look in them. How long will they stay dialated?

What to do if I had an eye exam by an optomotrist that dialated my eyes to look in them. How long will they stay dialated?

Nothing: Usually lasts any where up to six or eight hours. Should pass. Sometimes longer but if it remains overnight or the eyes become red call you eye doctor now. ...Read more

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Is it possible for sunlight to damage your eyes after an eye exam if your eyes were too dilated?

Is it possible for sunlight to damage your eyes after an eye exam if your eyes were too dilated?

No: While more light is let in, the protective reflex to avoid looking directly at the sun is still in place, so you will be ok if you don't stare at the sun until the drops wear off. ...Read more

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Why is it that they dilate your eyes during an eye exam?

Why is it that they dilate your eyes during an eye exam?

Pupil dilation: Is an important part of a complete eye exam. This allows the eye doctor to evaluate your retinas more completely than through pupils which tend to constrict with light when they are not dilated. ...Read more

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Is it necessary to have your eyes dilated when having an eye exam?

Is it necessary to have your eyes dilated when having an eye exam?

Usually: A comprehensive eye examination requires dilation to rule out disease in the back of the eye. Although a fair amount of the eye can be seen without dilation, there are areas of the eye that would not be properly evaluated. If you are seen annually or every few years, it is best to be dilated at these visits. It would otherwise be like having a general health exam without listenting to your heart! ...Read more

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I got my eyes dilated for eye exam 24 hours later they are still dialated, why?

I got my eyes dilated for eye exam 24 hours later they are still dialated, why?

Pupil dilating drops: Usually wear off in 4-6 hours, but can last longer. This is especially true with blue eyed patients and with the use of certain dilating drops which can last longer than others. ...Read more

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Got my eyes dilated for an eye exam yesterday, my eyes are still dilated and it's been over 24hrs, is there a chance they're stuck like this?

Got my eyes dilated for an eye exam yesterday, my eyes are still dilated and it's been over 24hrs, is there a chance they're stuck like this?

No not stuck, but: Lingering, and if your eyes are dilated during the day, you may want to contact your eye doctor. It can be dilated at night normally. So, all eyes dilated at the eye doctor's office do return to normal within 24 hours. ...Read more

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Is it a routine thing to dilate your eyes during a general eye exam?

Common: Dilation allows the ophthalmologist to view portions of the back of the eye not possible in the undilated state. Sometimes there are indications for this such as diabetes and symptoms indicating problems in the back of the eye. It is not "routine" but should be done once every few years. The ophthalmologist will usually ask if it is ok in your case since it temporarily disturbs vision. ...Read more

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Could watch tv and using cell phone after dilated eye exam cause damage to eyes?

No: Discomfort might last for a few hours, but damage from these low light activities- very unlikey.. Do not stare at sun or at any very bright light source. ...Read more

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My eye doctor doesn't dilate my eyes during an eye exam, shouldn't they?

My eye doctor doesn't dilate my eyes during an eye exam, shouldn't they?

Yes they should!: Dilation of the eyes is part of a complete eye examination. The examiner cannot see the entire retina without dilating the eyes and it makes looking at certain parts of the such as the macula and optic nerve much easier after dilating. If you are seeing the doctor for a specific problem not involving the retina, you will not necessarily need dilation. ...Read more

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I had a dilated eye exam 2 hours ago. Can I go to the gym to play basketball? Or do I need to stay home and rest my eyes?

I had a dilated eye exam 2 hours ago. Can I go to the gym to play basketball? Or do I need to stay home and rest my eyes?

Go play: Play and have fun. Your vision may be slightly blurry, but not enough to be dangerous or ruin your fun. In a few more hours, they will be back to normal. ...Read more

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We took our 8 month old son for routine eye exam thursday morning. Cyclogyl (cyclopentolate) eye drops were used at 11 am. Its saturday and his eyes are still dilated?

We took our 8 month old son for routine eye exam thursday morning. Cyclogyl (cyclopentolate) eye drops were used at 11 am. Its saturday and his eyes are still dilated?

It's ok!: Some eyes are more sensitive than others. Cyclogyl (cyclopentolate) can last 12-48 hours commonly, but longer in some. Please kindly tell you doctor to use shorter acting agent if possible such as tropicamide 0.5%! ...Read more

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How do you know if tropicamide to dilate pupils at eye exam caused glaucoma? Symptoms include heaviness in eyes, mild pain, blurry vision.

Probably not: Tropicamide is a an eye medication gnerally used to dilate the pupil during an eye examination. There is a minimal risk of inducing angle closure glaucoma in patients who are predisposed to this condition. This predispostion is usually determined before the eyes are dilated. The described symptoms are consistent with the effects of tropicamide which are temporary. ...Read more

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Eye doctor at a store front business says that it is the law and required to have eyes dilated during a regular eye exam for eyeglasses. Is this true?

Eye doctor: Different states have different laws. Check with your city's board if health as to your eye doctors claim. Ideally it doesn't hurt to get your eyes dilated so that the doctor can check your retina to rule out things like diabetes or high blood pressure. ...Read more

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How can I see after a dilated eye exam?

How can I see after a dilated eye exam?

You: Will be blurred especially for near vision and sensitive to light. This will last 2-4 hours, so plan appropriately. ...Read more

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How much time do my pupils stay dilated after my eye exam?

How much time do my pupils stay dilated after my eye exam?

Several hours: It really depends on the drops used at your doctors office. The standard drops used can keep pupils dilated between 4-6 hours. However, in some patients the drops can keep the pupils dilated for up to 24 hours. ...Read more

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Why did a dilated eye exam hurt so much today? I think they had the light turned up high. Could it be photophobia?

Why did a dilated eye exam hurt so much today? I think they had the light turned up high. Could it be photophobia?

Light sensitivity: Dilation opens the eye so your ophthalmologist can see the periphery of the retina. Because of the increased light input, the eye is uncomfortable with this and going outside afterwards in the sun can be painful. This is temporary photophobia which will disappear when the dilation recovers. ...Read more

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19yrs old. Keep seeing round light flashes several times/day. Last ~1sec. First were blue&white, &now orange. Negative dilated eye exam in jan. Causes?

See ophthalmologist: Can't tell for sure the cause of the flashes, may due to something in the back of your eyes, may be your eye pressure, or other reasons, A negative eye exam in January, 6 months ago is different, now you need a new evaluation, goodluck ...Read more

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If I had optic neuritis, would I feel pain? Can an OD find it in an eye exam in which they dilate the pupil? What other ways would MS show in exam

Yes: Almost all cases of optic neuritis have pain when moving the affected eye. It is usually accompanied by decreased vision as well. An OD can usually see changes on a dilated exam but not always. If you are concerned about optic neuritis it is important to visit a doctor for evaluation. ...Read more

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Dilated eye exam: 20/20 vision, no problems but floaters. Is 30's young for floaters? Why noticing them suddenly? Can body reabsorb debris? Worried!

Dilated eye exam: 20/20 vision, no problems but floaters. Is 30's young for floaters? Why noticing them suddenly? Can body reabsorb debris? Worried!

Should be examined: Floaters can be a sign of a retinal tear, especially if they are numerous, associated with flashing lights, and noticed suddenly. If untreated, this can progress to a retinal detachment. When these symptoms are present, a prompt dilated eye exam is recommended to look for a retinal tear or retinal detachment. ...Read more

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Can opthamologists tell the difference between hyaline cendensation and vitreous bodies and eye floaters w/dilated eye exam? Same prognosis for both?

Can opthamologists tell the difference between hyaline cendensation and vitreous bodies and eye floaters w/dilated eye exam? Same prognosis for both?

A dilated exam can: Differentiate between a vitreous floater, vitreous detachment and hyaloid opacification. The etiology (cause) for these entities can vary and thus patient history is important. The prognosis can also be variable depending upon the diagnosis and cause of each entity listed. For example, hyaloid pathology could be secondary to inflammation and carries a different set of issues. A good dilated is rec. ...Read more

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How often is a dilation eye exam recommended if no symptoms exist? Which one is better? Digital retina exam or dilated eye exam?

How often is a dilation eye exam recommended if no symptoms exist? Which one is better? Digital retina exam or dilated eye exam?

Depends: At your age, & depending on your eye health, a dilated exam every 3 years is probably sufficient. For myopia yearly exams usually are desirable to check on prescription changes. My strong preference is for dilated exams with hi-powered diagnostic indirect lenses to evaluate the posterior part of your eyes. Digital retinal imaging exams (Retincamâ„¢) work for big pathologies, but not micro-detailed ...Read more

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Just had dilated eye exam + several "freezing" eyedrops. Sinuses, eyelids feel heavy. Normal? Numbing/freezing drops used maybe 4 times every 15min

Just had dilated eye exam + several "freezing" eyedrops. Sinuses, eyelids feel heavy. Normal? Numbing/freezing drops used maybe 4 times every 15min

Short term effects: The numbing drops used principally for the measurement of intraocular pressure (glaucoma check) will lose the numbness in under 10 minutes. The dilating drops can last from 2-20 hours depending upon the type used. If you still have symptoms the next day, then call your ophthalmologist for advice. ...Read more

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Could whiplash type dance injury to neck cause eye floaters 10 months later? Dilated eye exam determined no retinal tear, no problems but floaters.

Could whiplash type dance injury to neck cause eye floaters 10 months later? Dilated eye exam determined no retinal tear, no problems but floaters.

Also: You might consider seeing a neurologist for other causes, such as delayed vascular injury in your neck or a traumatic aneurysm or fistula. ...Read more

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Mom had good bev hills blepharoplasty. Went for eye exam dilate. One lid drooped more for 4hr. Due to wrong dose or muscle? Her dad had oc mya gravis

Mom had good bev hills blepharoplasty. Went for eye exam dilate. One lid drooped more for 4hr. Due to wrong dose or muscle? Her dad had oc mya gravis

Eyelid Drooping: Most pupil dilating drops are parasympathetic antagonists that act by paralyzing the iris sphincter muscle. It is possible that the medication also relaxed (or temporarily paralyzed) one of the small muscles that elevates the eyelid - likely mueller's muscle which lifts the lid via sympathetic stimulation (opposite the effect of dilating drops). Get it checked out if symptoms recur on their own. ...Read more