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

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Dr. David Chandler
381 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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