It’s your favorite part of visiting the eye doctor – getting your eyes dilated. While this might not be true, it’s a necessary part of checking your eyes and making sure they are healthy and strong. But, does your doctor really need to dilate your eyes? Many people worry, “if my eyes are dilated, can I drive”? These are all valid questions that we are ready to answer.
The Reason for Eye Dilation Matters
Knowing why your eye doctor needs to dilate your eyes is important. When your eyes are dilated, your pupils (the black center part of your eye) become bigger than normal. This is done when your doctor applies eye drops to make them enlarge for examination.
When your pupils are larger, your doctor is able to see much more. This enables them to get a good view of many parts of your eye, including your retina and even your optic nerve. A complete eye exam will most likely require your eyes to be dilated.
3 Main Reasons for Eye Dilation
Your pupils dilate on their own as well. This can be in response to light or the lack of light to help you see better. It can also be a result of an injury, medical condition, or medications.
There are a few reasons for dilating your eyes during an eye exam. These include:
- Viewing parts of your eye better that can only be viewed with dilation.
- Examining your optic nerve, a part of your central nervous system.
- Ability to diagnose certain conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal tears or detachment, ocular tumors
When Should You Not Drive with Eye Dilation?
When you get your eyes dilated at the eye doctor, you are often left with light sensitivity. So you will be given special sunglasses to help block the light until you can get inside again.
“If my eyes are dilated, can I drive”? Because your eyesight will be somewhat impaired, some eye specialists recommend not driving when your eyes are dilated. However, if you feel comfortable with the side effects and have sunglasses you can wear, you may be okay to get behind the wheel.
Eye Specialists That Care
As we’ve discussed, dilating your pupil is an important part of your eye exam. It helps your doctor examine your eye health, preventing, diagnosing, and treating eye conditions that could lead to future vision loss.
At Vision Boutique, we take pride in the way we care for our patients and their vision. In addition, we strive to educate everyone about their vision and how to keep their eyes healthy and strong for years to come.
We also know that some anxiety accompanies visiting the eye doctor. So when you schedule your eye exam, ask if you will have your eyes dilated so you can plan accordingly, especially if you’re wondering, “if my eyes are dilated, can I drive”?