WellSpan Home

Dilated Eye Exam

Topic Overview

A dilated eye exam lets your eye doctor see the back of your eye (retina). It's usually done as part of a regular eye exam.

What happens during the test?

Your doctor will use eyedrops to widen (dilate) your pupils. This makes it easier to see the back of the eye. Your doctor may also use eyedrops to numb the surface of your eyes. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to fully dilate the pupils.

The dilating eyedrops may make your eyes sting. They may also cause a medicine taste in your mouth.

When your pupils are dilated, your doctor will shine a bright light into your eyes and examine them.

Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has glaucoma and if you are allergic to any type of eyedrops.

What happens after the test?

Your vision will be blurry for several hours.

You will probably be able to go home or back to your usual activities right away. But your eyes will be sensitive, and your vision will be blurry. Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses.

Don't drive for several hours after your eyes have been dilated, unless your doctor says it's okay.

Who should have this test?

This test is usually done as part of a regular eye exam. So if you have vision problems, you may get this test as part of your regular checkup with your eye doctor.

The test can also be used to find other problems, such as head injuries or brain tumors.

Everyone with diabetes should have regular dilated eye exams. Diabetes can lead to eye problems that cause vision loss or blindness. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you will have eye problems. By the time you notice any vision problems, your eyes may already be seriously damaged. A thorough exam can help detect symptoms early. Early treatment may help protect your vision.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofDecember 3, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×