Eye dilation is a common part of many different types of eye exams, but if you've never had it done before, you might have some questions. After all, it's only natural to want to know what's going to be done to your own eyes. If you're curious about this facet of an eye examination, here's a simple walkthrough of what's done and why.
Why It's Done
Eye dilation simply means that your pupils are made artificially larger for a temporary period of time. Your eyes naturally dilate when you enter a dark room and then retract once you're in a bright area.
With an eye exam, the eyes are dilated in order to give your eye doctor a better view of what's going on inside of them. Pupils are like a window to the interior of the eye, so when your eye doctor widens your pupils and looks through them, it gives them an idea of what's going on with your eye health.
How It's Done
Eye dilation is a very simple and painless process to undergo. To dilate your eyes, your eye doctor's assistant will put some eye drops into your eyes a few minutes before your exam. They need time to kick in, so you should expect to wait for a few minutes before your eye doctor arrives to perform the examination.
During this time, you may notice some mild vision blurriness. Rest assured that this is normal. It will stop as soon as your eyes return to their normal state.
Once your eye doctor arrives and confirms that your eyes have dilated enough, they'll start the exam. To do so, they'll look through a device called an ophthalmoscope. This device has magnification so that they can closely inspect both the surface of your eyes and the interior. They'll be looking for signs of illness and damage, like swelling, scar tissue, and inflammation. Nothing will be touching your eyes, so there's no reason to worry.
Once the eye exam is complete, you'll be ready to head home. However, your eye doctor will likely require you to wear sunglasses when you leave if the sun is still up. This is because your dilated pupils can't constrict the way that they normally would when they're exposed to light, which could harm your vision. If you don't have sunglasses with you, your eye doctor will give you a temporary disposable pair.
For more information about eye exams, reach out to a professional.