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

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