A common question people ask every day in our office is “Doctor, do I need to have my pupils dilated today?” And, the answer depends on a few things. First and foremost, the only way to completely evaluate the internal health of the eyes is to dilate those pupils! No one wants an un-noticed retinal problem to go un-treated and cause permanent loss of vision. Vision is precious and not replaceable. Early detection allows early treatment and prevention of potential blindness.
While there are many options, and sometimes costly offerings, to help you avoid having your pupils dilated, without using special eye drops and making a person’s pupils larger, it’s just not possible to really get a great view of the internal vision structures.
There’s good news…there are weaker dilating drops available! Just ask your eye doctor to use the weakest drops that would work for YOUR eyes. Lighter iris’ have less pigment, and pigment blocks the absorption of the dilation drops, so if you have a lighter colored iris, you may be a perfect candidate for the dilating drops that don’t cause as much blur, and wear off in less time. Your eye doctor will be able to tell which drop will be best for your eyes.
Today, it’s easy for healthy kids or adults – that is, without a history of eye disease or injury – to safely have an annual comprehensive eye exam with a dilated pupil evaluation every other year, and still be able to function for the rest of the day. Anyone told that they have something that needs close watching and monitoring may have dilation more than once a year.
For the best ocular care, always share with your optometrist or ophthalmologist any news of a change in your health, new medications, new problems that your other medical doctors may be watching, and ANY head or eye injuries that have occurred since your last yearly eye exam.