Why do I need to get my eyes dilated during an eye exam?

Having your eyes dilated with dilating eye drops is sometimes necessary in eye exams, as it is the only way in which the view to the back of your eye can be increased and your entire retina can be observed.

Dilating pupils also helps your optometrist to see if you are suffering from a number of eye conditions, including macular degeneration and glaucoma.

How long are eyes dilated for after an eye exam?

After the eye exam, it’s common for eyes to stay dilated for between 3-6 hours while the effects of the eye drops wear off.

During this time, your eyes’ sensitivity to light will remain heightened, which could be uncomfortable for some, particularly if it’s your first time having a dilated eye exam. You may also find that your vision becomes slightly blurry as a result, however this should wear off as your pupils contract over the next few hours.

That’s why it’s highly recommended to wear sunglasses after your eye exam and on your way home.

Can I drive if my eyes are dilated?

It’s always advisable to have a friend or companion drive you back from your eye exam, or to take public transport where possible.

However, if this isn’t an option, then make sure to bring a pair of sunglasses with you to help your eyes cope with the increased light sensitivity.