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Why Does My Optometrist Dilate My Eyes?

kid getting eye exam

You know those drops your family eye doctor puts in your eyes during your eye exam. Soon after you’re sensitive to light, and your close up vision is well, blurry? Those drops help to dilate your eyes. They’re pretty painless but can really help aid in diagnosing sight-threatening eye diseases.


What Are Dilating Eye Drops?

Dilating eye drops consist of a medication which allows the pupil of the eye to enlarge, letting more light to enter the eye. Your optometrist will then be able to see the back of the eye more clearly. Generally, the drops may sting when first put into the eye, but this should subside fairly quickly. You may opt to have a numbing eye drop be put in first to reduce any pain.


Why is Dilation Important?

Although you will likely not have dilating drops put into your eyes every time you have an eye exam, your optometrist will judge when it is important. Your age, medical history, or symptoms may require a more thorough examination of your eyes through dilation. Eye dilation can help diagnose many diseases and eye conditions, such as:

If your eyes are dilated, you may not be able to drive, and so proper precautions should be taken prior to your appointment. Most times drops only last a few hours, but for someone with very sensitive eyes, effects may last longer.  If you are not prepared to be dilated, we can always schedule you to come back for the dilation part of the exam.

Always bring a pair of sunglasses for after your appointment, as you will be sensitive to light for sometime. Check out our list of items to bring to your next eye exam appointment here.


If you need to book an eye exam, give us a call or book online with Dr. Sharma. Your local Victoria Optometrist! We want to help you see your very best!