When we prepare to put dilating drops in during a complete eye examination, we often hear “Not today, I have too much to do!” The problem is that dilation is a major part of the eye examination. Without it, you have only had the front part of your eyes examined. Having an eye examination without dilating drops is like going to the gynecologist or primary care doctor without taking your clothes off!
We use the dilating drops to get a better view of the retina in the back of the eye and the blood vessels that overly it. The eye is the only place in the body where we can directly see these tiny blood vessels which can be affected by high blood pressure, diabetes and many other medical conditions. We are also looking for retinal tears or masses that cannot be seen through a small pupil.
Most people can go about their regular day after dilation if they have sunglasses. The problem comes with reading but if you are already in bifocals, your reading should not be too impaired. Most people are back to normal within 3-4 hours after the exam.
So just plan ahead. If you are scheduled for a complete eye examination and find it difficult to function with dilating drops, arrange your schedule accordingly. As long as you are having your eyes examined, you might as well have us evaluate your whole eye and not just the front part. At lease we don’t make you take your clothes off!
Dr. Mark German is an optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals. He welcomes patients of all ages to his practice and accepts most insurance plans.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.