To put it simply, a dilated eye exam is a simple and painless way to check if you have an eye disease. This is important if you want to treat them early on before they cause more damage to your eyes or even permanent vision loss. To understand how a dilated eye exam works, our eye care and eyeglasses specialists at Nova Vision Center explains what you need to know:
Is a Dilated Eye Exam Necessary?
This depends on the reason for your exam, as well as your age and overall health. Keep in mind that the risk of eye disease increases as you age, which is why the National Eye Institute recommends a dilated eye exam once every one to two years if you’re 60 or older.
Sometimes, a dilated eye exam is also needed to determine the cause of symptoms behind certain eye conditions. And if you have a history of eye diseases such as glaucoma or retinal detachment, then a dilated eye exam is needed.
What to Expect During a Dilated Eye Exam
When you get a dilated eye exam, your doctor will give you some eye drops to dilate or “widen” your pupil. Typically, this will take around 15 to 20 minutes to take effect, but it can be longer depending on your response to the medication.
Once you take the eye drops, it will take around a few hours for your eyes to return to normal. But during this time, the doctor will perform a series of tests to check for any sign of disease. A few hours after a dilated eye exam, your vision may be blurry and you may be sensitive to light. Make sure that you bring a family member or a friend who can take you home safely after the examination.
Your eyes should be checked only by a trusted eye doctor such as Nova Vision Center. Contact us at (703) 578-3600 or through our convenient online form. We serve Falls Church, Arlington, and neighboring VA areas!