Routine eye examinations are needed yearly. During an annual eye exam the doctor not only checks your vision, but also accesses the health of your eyes through dilation. Read more to find out just how essential this portion of the eye exam is.
Nostalgic Eye Care is here to educate our community and make sure that we have the correct knowledge to protect and preserve our most important sense and gift of sight.
What is a dilated eye examination and why is it important?
A dilated eye examination will occur after the doctor has checked your vision. The doctor will place two drops into your eyes. The first eye drop is called Proparacaine and is used to numb the eye so that the second drop does not sting. The second drop is called Tropicamide and is used to make the pupil widen. After the drops are administered the doctor will wait for about 15 minutes for the drops to work in making your pupil large. When the pupil is large the doctor can shine a bright light through your eye and view the back of your eye which is called the retina. The retina is arguably the most precious part of our eye as it has cells that detect light, convert the light into signals and send those signals to the brain in the form of images for us to process and make sense of what we see.
Retinal diseases can occur at any time in our lives and can even be a result of different systemic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, anemia, thyroid disease, cancer and many more. These conditions can even present symptoms behind the eye before someone is aware that they have the disease. When these diseases impact the eye, it can cause changes in our vision that are sometimes irreversible. If your doctor finds something that concerns them, they can direct you in what steps to take so that you can receive proper treatment and hopefully save your vision. This is why a dilated eye exam is essential.
After a dilated eye examination your eyes may be sensitive to light for a few hours and you may have a hard time seeing things up close until the drops wear off and the pupil returns to normal size. No need to worry!
We are only given one set of eyes. At your next eye exam, make sure you opt to receive a full comprehensive eye exam with a vision screening and a dilated eye exam so that the doctor can give you a well rounded explanation of your ocular health.