Dilated Eye Check up

What is the purpose of dilating the eyes?

By dilating the pupil the doctor is able to see all regions of the inner part of the eye, namely, the retina, the blood vessels and the optic disc. In an undilated eye only a small fraction of the total area of the retina will be seen. It helps in detecting diseases of the posterior segment of the eye and also evaluates the general health of the patient especially cardiovascular and nervous system. The doctor is able to accurately measure eyes’ power as in the dilated eye the muscle inside the eye is relaxed. The test is also useful in assessing the drainage system of the fluid inside the eye and to detect and evaluate glaucoma.

What precautions must the patient take?

Vision will be blurred for one day. You might have difficulty in reading during this time. You must arrange for somebody to accompany you on the day of dilatation.

What all procedures will be done?

  • Direct and Indirect ophthalmoscopic evaluation of the retina
  • Slit lamp biomicroscopy
  • Tonometry
  • Streak retinoscopy to assess your eyes power

Can you please explain the procedure?

One drop of the medication will be instilled in each eye. It will sting for a while but this will pass away soon. You must keep your eyes closed for 30 to 45 minutes. If your eyes do not dilate well then one more drop will be instilled. In diabetics it will take more time for full dilatation to occur. If the doctor needs to do a detailed examination you might have to wait for about one and a half hour before full dilatation occurs.

Can I put the drops at home and come?

Since the eye drops can have some side effects like giddiness and eye ache it is better if it is done under observation. This is especially so in patients with hypertension, glaucoma and long sighted patients.

Why are the types of refractive errors?

There are also three different focusing problems which may require the need for corrective glasses. These are:

Myopia or shortsight. This is often discovered in children when they are 8 to 10 years old. A myopic eye is longer than normal and so light rays are focused in front of the retina causing a blurred image. Hyperopia or long sight. A hyperopic eye is shorter than normal and so light rays are focused behind the retina causing a blurred image. Most children are normally a little farsighted. Hyperopia needs to be corrected in young people if it causes decreased vision or is associated with crossed eyes. Astigmatism. In astigmatism light rays enter the eye and focus at different places on the retina. It distorts and blurs vision for both near and far objects.

Caring for your glasses?

Use water or liquid soap and a soft cloth to clean the glasses. You should handle specs with both hands. Please put your glasses in the protective case and taught never to put the glasses face down on any surface.

What precautions must I take while wearing glasses?

Any alteration of lenses may give rise to symptoms of watering, irritation, depth difference, etc. till one gets used to the glasses. Bifocal glasses give more symptoms than unifocal glasses. Patients who begin wearing bifocals, multifocals and high powered glasses should be careful while going up and down stairs

Can a babies eyes be tested for glasses?

A babies eyes can be tested even before he or she is able to give a verbal response. By dilating the babies pupil the doctor can see all regions of the inner part of the eye, namely, the retina, the blood vessels and the optic disc. The doctor is able to record accurately measure your eyes’ power as in the dilated eye using a streak retinoscope.