Are you wondering why your optometrist or eye specialist sometimes dilates your eyes during an eye examination? Well, it’s to protect your health. A standard eye exam in Kitchener, that does not include dilating your eyes, is used primarily to detect and manage vision problems, but it does not provide a thorough look at the overall health of your eyes. Dilating your eyes gives your optometrist a better look at your entire eye area.
What Is Eye Dilation?
An optometrist uses specialty eye drop to help to dilate your eyes. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes to fully dilate your eye. This will open your eyes wider and provide more light for the doctor to see the back of each eye, including the retina and optic nerve. Eye dilation allows for a more comprehensive examination of your eyes. Your vision may appear blurry for up to two to six hours after your eyes are dilated, so it is recommended to have someone drive you home.
Why Dilate Your Eyes?
Eye dilation allows your optometrist to perform a complete checkup of your eyes. During this comprehensive eye examination, your doctor may be able to detect several types of potentially dangerous health conditions, such as diabetes, glaucoma, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, high blood pressure, vascular disease, high cholesterol, and some types of infectious diseases.
In many cases, the eye doctors can detect these medical conditions even before your own physician can. This allows for early detections, which means you can obtain early treatment to help fight the disease and prevent it from intensifying. Early detection can not only help prevent future vision loss, but it can literally save your life.
Your optometrist may not dilate your eyes at every single visit. Remember, that eye dilation is not necessary for prescribing eyeglasses or contact lenses. Your optometrist will take several factors, such as your age, health history, risk factors, and the reason for eye examination into account when determining whether to dilate your eyes or not. It is recommended to discuss this issue with your optometrist to get a better understanding of why your eyes may, or may not, be dilated during your eye exam.
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