From the time we’re children to the time we’re well into our adulthood, most of us are very anxious about going to see doctors. We know about that cold stethoscope and those scary-looking needles. And, besides all that, everyone fears hearing bad news. However, the fear and angst over going to see a normal doctor is nothing compared to how some people feel about going to see an optometrist. The fear that your eyes will be meddled with is a legitimate one, as we’re genetically inclined to protect our eyes. Though eye exams are very important to have. There are all sorts of issues that can affect our eyes, and the optometrists who practice this brand of medicine are only trying to help us avoid those issues.

We might need to see them for corrective vision issues and ultimately end up getting some glasses from a location like Optiko Eyewear. We might also be able to catch more serious issues like glaucoma before it’s too late when we visit an optometry clinic. The important thing here is to have regular eye exams and to submit to the dilated pupils test. But why does an optometrist need to dilate your pupils for such an eye exam? Here is some more information on that topic.

What Is Pupil Dilation?

Pupil dilation is simple enough to understand. The optometrist will stimulate your eyes, and the center of your iris will thus grow larger to allow more light in. Basically, your eyes are already programmed to dilate naturally. In darker environments, for instance, your pupils dilate so that you can make the most out of the little bit of light available. When you’re seeing an optometrist, they will usually accomplish this by inserting drops into your eyes, which will ensure that your pupils fully dilate and stay dilated for the remainder of the test. Again, this is a perfectly natural state for your eyes to be in, and it’s a safe procedure.

The Dilated Eye Exam

Once your pupils have dilated, the optometrist will begin the dilated eye exam. This is a very common exam at any good optometry clinic, and it doesn’t take very long at all and is not invasive. The doctor is basically viewing a lot of your eye, such as the inside of it and the back of your eye. The eye doctor is going to look deeply into your eye so that they may examine the retina and the optic nerve. They’re essentially performing a check-up, ensuring that everything is operating correctly. If there are any issues with your optic nerve or retina, the optometrist is going to be able to spot the issue(s) due to the fact that they can see fully into your eye with your pupils dilated.

How Long Does This Test Take?

The test itself does not take very long at all. The doctor may spend around ten minutes or so on each eye. The longest aspect of this test is actually waiting for your pupils to fully dilate. The doctor will typically apply some drops, and then you may be left alone in the room for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes while the drops do their job and dilate your pupils fully. You can think of it in many ways, like the Novocaine a dentist gives you and then has to wait until it starts working. During the time your pupils are dilated, you should not feel any pain or discomfort. You may have a sensitivity to bright light for a few hours after the test is completed, but that is very normal and usually passes.

Types Of Issues That Can Be Found

During the test, the optometrist can discover certain issues like glaucoma by examining the optic nerve. They can also tell if you have AMD, also known as age-related macular degeneration. These issues cannot be found typically with normal eye tests. Only the dilated pupil test allows the optometrist to see into your eye well enough.

Going to see an optometrist may seem a bit scary, but you need to have regular eye exams to ensure that you catch issues before they become too serious.

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