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Dilated Exam Information



A retinal evaluation is an important part of a comprehensive eye examination.  Dilation is a procedure that allows the doctor to view the back of the eye, which includes the retina, optic nerve, and blood vessels.  Without a dilated fundus exam or the Optomap Retinal Exam, the doctor cannot check for eye disease which could affect your eye health and vision. Glaucoma, diabetes, ocular melanoma, and retinal detachments are examples of diseases or conditions which can be detected during a retinal exam.

What does dilation involve?

Eye drops. After 30 minutes, the pupil is enlarged and the doctor uses a bright light and magnifying lens to examine the health of the back of the eye.

What are the side effects?

Your vision will be blurred for about 4-6 hours, especially up close. You will also be sensitive to light for a while. You will need to wear sunglasses outside for comfort and protection. We will provide sun shades if you do not have sunglasses with you. Driving is not recommended unless you have been dilated in the past and did not experience blurred distance vision.

Do I need it? How often?

Yes, all patients should have a yearly retinal exam by either dilation or Optomap.  With conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma risk, high myopia, advanced age, recent trauma, certain medications, headaches, or other risk factors it is essential to have a retinal exam every year and the doctor may recommend both Optomap retinal photos and a dilated retinal exam.

Is there a fee?  How long does it take?

If necessary, you may schedule your routine dilation visit within four weeks of your exam date at no charge.  Please allow 1 hour for the dilation visit if you schedule a separate visit.

Do you have reversal drops?

Yes! The drops are available for $12.  With reversal, the effects of dilation wear off in about half the time.