Here at Fiona Watt Optometrists, we offer pupil dilation in Wimbledon at our practice. Pupil dilation is performed to purposefully increase the size of the pupils during an eye exam so that the optometrist can fully examine the health of the optic nerve and retina. When your eyes are dilated, it means the pupils, the black circle in the middle of your eyeball, is large. By enlarging, they allow more light to enter your eye, so you can see better in low light. The exam is critical to preventing and treating eye conditions that could potentially lead to vision loss.
The view to the back of the eye is limited when the pupil is not dilated. When your pupil is small, the optometrist can see your optic nerve and macula but the view is limited. In order to see the entire retina, the pupil must be dilated. This is achieved through the use of eye drops. Once dilated, the retina is examined using a silt lamp and volk lenses (specialised lenses to view the retina)
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We use 0.5% Tropicamide to dilate your eyes. Usually, only one drop is instilled into each eye. If after 15 minutes the optometrist observes no enlargement of the pupils, they might insert a second drop.
The medication typically takes about 15-30 minutes to fully dilate the pupils, depending on the person’s response to the medication.
The pupil dilation typically takes 4-6 hours to wear off.
You will have trouble focusing on close objects. You also will be extra sensitive to bright light. If your eyes are dilated for an exam or procedure, bring sunglasses with you. They will help with the glare and light sensitivity when you leave your appointment. As your vision will be blurred, we also recommend you do not drive or operate any machinery until your eyes return back to normal
The eye is a beautiful organ, and it is the only place in the human body where a doctor can see a part of the central nervous system, the optic nerve. As part of a comprehensive eye examination, pupil dilation is very important at revealing the status of your optic nerve and retina, and is critical to preventing and treating eye conditions that could potentially lead to vision loss. During your eye examination, if the optometrist feels pupil dilation will be beneficial, an appointment will be made for you.
If you experience any other side effects please call the practice and speak to one of our optometrists.