Dilating Eye Drops: An Informative Guide

Dilating Eye Drops: An Informative Guide

Feb 01, 2021

Do you suspect that you have an eye problem? Or do you need a general eye checkup? If so, we recommend scheduling an eye exam with our Vaughan optometrist. Most people typically wait for eye issues to escalate before getting an eye exam. However, letting issues fester might cause severe damage in the long run.

For our Vaughan optometrist to perform the comprehensive eye exams that you need, pupil dilation drops have to be used. Dilating eye drops in Vaughan, ON, are an excellent tool that aids our optometrist to peer in the eye and diagnose different eye problems.

Dilating Eye Drops Basics

The black circle of your eye, located in the central part of the coloured area of your eye, is known as the pupil. It is the opening of the pupil that allows light to enter the eye. Dilating eye drops, also known as mydriatic drops, are designed to make your pupils bigger.

There are two types of dilating eye drops:

  • One type causes the muscles of the iris to contract, therefore making your pupil become bigger or dilate.
  • The other type is designed to prevent the muscles of your pupils from becoming smaller. Also, they cause the eyes to relax and therefore unable to focus.

Don’t fret. All these pupil changes are temporary and don’t last long. These two types of dilating eye drops are usually used in concert, either as separate drops, as a spray, or as a single combination drop.

Why Do You Need Dilating Eye Drops?

It is essential for the pupil to dilate during an eye examination. This enables our optometrist to carefully examine the parts of your eye behind the iris (the inside of the eye).

When our optometrist is able to have a look at the structures inside your eyes, it makes it easier to diagnose and check for any abnormalities that can indicate the following conditions:

  • Retinal detachment. A condition where the retina has pulled away from the blood vessels that are linked to them.
  • High blood pressure. If your blood pressure goes untreated, the retina’s blood vessels can get damaged.
  • Macular degeneration. This is when there is damage to the macula element of your retina. It is responsible for your central and detailed vision. If not treated can, it can lead to permanent loss of vision.
  • Diabetes. If you have diabetes, there is a high chance that you can develop diabetic retinopathy.
  • Glaucoma. This is a condition where the eye pressure becomes high and then causes damage to your eye.

Since your pupils’ natural response is to become smaller when exposed to light, the eye drops counter this effect, thus giving our optometrist the time and chance to peer into the eye. This will also enable our optometrist to more accurately check whether your child will need glasses.

Also, pupil dilation drops can be used to treat and manage different eye problems such as inflammation, amblyopia, and progressive high myopia (progressive nearsightedness).

Is It Necessary for Everyone to Get Dilating Eye Drops?

During your visit, our optometrist will have to consider the following before using the dilating eye drops:

  • Your overall health. If you have diabetes or another type of disease, you have increase chances of having eye issues. Annual dilated eye exams are recommended for all diabetic patients.
  • Your age. When you get older, the more likely it is for you to develop eye issues. Annual eye exams are recommended for those over 65 years old.
  • Your eye health. If you have a history of eye issues, such as retinal detachment, dilating eye drops will be important to monitor for any changes.

How Long Does the Effect Last?

When mydriatic drops are used to examine the eyes, the effects may last from 4 to 24 hours. However, this is dependent on the type and strength of the drops and also the individual. If you have light-coloured eyes, the effect can last longer than those with brown eyes.

If your child is undergoing an examination, they will need much stronger drops than adults so that the diagnosis can be accurate.

If the dilating eye drops are used to treat certain eye diseases, then the effects can last longer, even up to two weeks.

You can experience short-term side effects such as blurry vision, light sensitivity, and trouble focusing at close up distances after using these mydriatic eye drops. You can experience the side effects for up to 6 hours.

The dilating drops in Vaughan, ON, make diagnosis much more accurate. Contact us today at Dr. Allyson Tang Optometrist to schedule an appointment.

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