Frequent eye exams should be part of everyone’s lives, as they are necessary for maintaining healthy vision. A comprehensive eye exam will usually include a dilated eye exam, as it is the best way for your doctor to get a look at the back of your eyes.
However, whether it is included in your exam depends on your age, your state of health, and other risk factors. If you are coming in to an appointment for a specific issue with your vision, it will also depend on what that issue is.
As a general rule, you should aim for a dilated exam once a year when you reach the age of 60. Younger people in good health may be able to skip on the exam, as they are at a much lower risk of problems. Keep reading to learn more about dilated eye exams!
What Can I Expect During A Dilated Eye Exam?
During a dilated eye exam, the doctor uses special drops that force the pupil to relax and open. This negates the shutting reflex.
This allows the doctor to shine a bright light into your eye without causing the pupil to tighten up. Dilation drops take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to take effect after application.
They can last up to 6 hours for most people. Everyone’s eyes react differently to the drops so the results can be unpredictable.
The doctor will be looking for issues such as diabetic retinopathy or other retinal problems, glaucoma, or cataracts. Visually, these will be represented by bleeding on the retina, damage to the optic nerve, and cloudy lenses.
Dilation drops do not cause blurry vision at a distance, so you will be okay to drive after. While your pupils are dilated, they will not be able to regulate how much light enters them.
This can cause problems with glare. If you’ve never experienced dilation drops, then you should get a ride situated ahead of time just in case.
Other Eye Exam Tests
There is no shortage of different tests you may encounter during a comprehensive exam. You will not undergo every single test. Instead, you will only undergo the ones your doctor thinks will benefit you. Tests that you may undergo include the following:
- Color blindness test. A color blindness tests helps to detect your ability to distinguish colors.
- Stereopsis test. This test tests your ability to perceive depth.
- Glaucoma test. The glaucoma test is important because it tests your internal eye pressure to make sure it is not at dangerous levels.
- Slit lamp exam. The doctor will use a special instrument to get an in-depth examination of your eyes.
- Visual field test. A visual field test will test your peripheral vision and if you have any blind spots.
Want to know if you need a dilated vision exam? Schedule an appointment at Pinke Eye Center at our office in Shelton, CT to get up to date on your vision testing. It could end up saving your eyesight!