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Doctor insights on: Is It Necessary To Have Your Eyes Dilated When Having An Eye Exam

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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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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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Is it necessary to have my eyes dilated during every eye exam?

Is it necessary to have my eyes dilated during every eye exam?

Whether eye dilation during an exam is necessary depends on the reason for your exam, your age, your overall health and your risk of eye diseases: The eyedrops used for dilation cause your 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 common diseases and conditions, possibly at their earliest stages. They include: Diabetes, High blood pressure, Macular degeneration, Retinal detachment, Glaucoma. Eye dilation also makes your vision blurry and your eyes more light sensitive, which, for a few hours, can affect your ability to drive or work. So if eye dilation is greatly inconvenient, ask your doctor about arranging another appointment. Alternatives to dilation are available, but they aren't as effective for allowing a careful examination of the back of your eye. In determining whether eye dilation is necessary for you, your eye doctor may consider: Your age. , Your eye health. , Your overall health. , The reason you are seeking an eye evaluation. ...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 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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Is it necessary to have an eye exam to get contacts?

Is it necessary to have an eye exam to get contacts?

Yes: Contact lenses are prescription items and require an exam for proper power and fit. If you wear eyeglasses and want to switch to contacts, see your ophthalmologist for the best option. ...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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What are the eye drops optometrists use prior to an eye exam? What effect does it have on your eyes?

What are the eye drops optometrists use prior to an eye exam? What effect does it have on your eyes?

Several drops: Optometrists are allowed to administer eyedrops due to legislative lobbying. Best to see an ophthalmologist who might use drops to numb the eye for certain tests and other drops to dilate the pupil for the best retinal examination. These will cause some change in the focus and light sensitivity but this is short term. ...Read more

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Is it possible to straighten your eyes if you have crossed eyes, without surgery?

Is it possible to straighten your eyes if you have crossed eyes, without surgery?

Maybe: Crossed eyes are known as strabismus. There are many criteria which need to be examined in order to determine how strabismus is best corrected. In some cases, certain eye excercises can minimize and even eliminate strabismus, in others, surgical correction is necessary. See an eye doctor specializing in adult strabismus correction. ...Read more

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Is it possicle to cheat on an eye exam and get glasses when you don't need them?

Is it possicle to cheat on an eye exam and get glasses when you don't need them?

Yes: If you give the incorrect response to the lens choices presented to you during a refraction, the refractionist will be mislead. This could result in an incorrect prescription. ...Read more

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Would I have ongoing symptoms if sand that got in my eyes scratched the surface of the eyes? Or the only way to tell is to get an eye exam?

Would I have ongoing symptoms if sand that got in my eyes scratched the surface of the eyes?  Or the only way to tell is to get an eye exam?

It's possible : Sand has a lot of ground up minerals & rock, and who knows what else. If you get sand in your eyes, it's possible that some of the particles are sharp enough to scratch or even imbed the surface of the cornea or conjunctiva and result in a persistent foreign body sensation. If by chance the sand has iron in it, a significant inflammatory reaction may result. So, an exam is important to elucidate. ...Read more

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Is it normal for light to be sensitive to your eye if your eye was poked?

Is it normal for light to be sensitive to your eye if your eye was poked?

Can be: Yes. If it persists for a few days or is associated with other symptoms (pain, visual loss, discharge) see a physician. ...Read more

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Is it normal to have a cataract on your eye when having a detached retina?

Is it normal to have a cataract on your eye when having a detached retina?

Perhaps: Some techniques used to repair a detached retina can lead to premature cataract. An example surgery is a pars plana vitrectomy where the jelly pulling on the retina (vitreous) is removed from inside the eye. While removing the vitreous may speed up cataract development, we accept this occurence as without an atrached retina, the eye does not see. Cataract surgery may be needed down the road. ...Read more

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Why is it necessary to dilate the eyes to get an accurate prescription for a child?

Why is it necessary to dilate the eyes to get an accurate prescription for a child?

Control: Children have very strong eye muscles for reading. When attempting to prescribe glasses, the examiner must control this muscle. To do so, we use dilating drops called cycloplegics to inactivate these muscles temporarily. The result is a more accurate examination. ...Read more

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Is it normal to be able to feel an eye choroidal nevi?

Is it normal to be able to feel an eye choroidal nevi?

No: The choroid is a part of the ocular anatomy that is within the eye wall. A nevus will have relatively no thickness so you would not be able to feel with your fingers through the lids and the eye wall. ...Read more

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I have usually see an ophthalmologist. Is there any reason to see an optometrist instead?

I have usually see an ophthalmologist. Is there any reason to see an optometrist instead?

Not really: Ophthalmologists are full md specialists of medicine and surgery of the eye who have graduated from medical school, internship, and residency. Optometrists do not go to medical school, or even pre-med. They go to optometry school where they learn about prescribing eye glasses as well as basic information about diseases of the eye. You can see either, but if you need surgery see ophthalmologist. ...Read more