Why Your Eyes Need to be Dilated Before an Exam – MPO Cares | MPO Eyecare

Why Your Eyes Need to be Dilated Before an Exam

You might wonder why eye drops are requested during the beginning of your Eye Exam. That is a great question because it has a medical reason behind it. Eye Dilation is important before an eye examination because it allows the eye pupil to stay open in bright lights during the process of the eye examination.

Usually when a light is shined directly into your eye, your eye will blink constantly because of the irritation from the bright light.  The process of dilation usually takes about 30 minutes; therefore, eye drops are recommended to be enabled at least 30 minutes prior to your actual eye examination.  After the process of dilation, the optometrist will be able to shine a light into your eye and allow him or her to see the back of your eye.

This step is critical because the optometrist wants to get a good look at the back of your eye to see the optic nerve, retina, and related blood vessels. The result of these three items will identify any eye problem like hypertension, cataract, and/or glaucoma.

The only drawback with eye drops and pupil dilation is that it takes 3 to 4 hours for your eyes to return back to normal state. However, pupil dilation helps the optometrist see the back of the eye and inspect the health of the cornea, iris, and lens of the eye. Dilation also helps check for any scarring or tearing in the back of your eyes.  It is highly recommended to get an eye exam annually! Because getting eye exams done regularly is important to monitor your eyes and your general health.