Dilated Fundus Exam
Having a dilated examination of your retina is an important part of monitoring ocular health. It is possible to look into the eye undilated, but this only provides a limited view of the retina and optic nerve. When we instill drops into your eyes to dilate the pupil, this holds the pupil open so we can obtain a much better view of the central retina and are now able to view and evaluate the peripheral retina. For those with hypertension and diabetes it is especially important to have this done on a regular basis to rule out blood vessel and retinal changes. If you have new floaters in your vision, especially if they are associated with flashes of light in your peripheral vision, it is important to have a dilated exam to rule out holes and tears in the retina. Finding these holes and tears early can prevent a retinal detachement with treatment.
Because dilation prohibits the pupil from constricting, it increases your light sensativity for a few hours. You will need sunglasses to prevent damage to the retina from the increased amount of light let into the eye. Dilation also inhibits the focusing muscle which sits right behind the iris. Because of this you will find your near vision slightly impaired while the eyes are dilated. Until you know how your vision is affected with the dilating drops we recommend a driver to and from your appointment.