What is a dilated eye exam?
Getting a dilated eye exam is the only way to check for and catch eye diseases early, when they’re easier to treat. The procedure is quick and painless, your eye doctor will give you special eye drops that dilate your pupil and keep it open so they can check the entire eye for diseases.
How often should you get a dilated eye exam?
If you have a family history of glaucoma or are over the age of 60, you should get a dilated eye exam every 1-2 years. However, if you have high blood pressure or diabetes, your doctor may recommend you get a dilated eye exam at least once a year. To be sure, talk with your eye doctor to see what frequency is best for you.
What tests are included in a dilated eye exam?
- Pupil response – A test to check how light enters your eye by shinning a small flashlight into your eye and seeing how your pupil reacts.
- Visual acuity – A test to check your vision clarity and possible nearsightedness or farsightedness.
- Eye muscle function – A test to check the muscles around your eye by having you follow a moving object around with just your eyes.
- Visual field – A test to check your peripheral vision by asking how far you can see objects to the side of you without moving your eyes.
- Tonometry – A test to measure the pressure in your eye by using a machine to blow a quick puff of air onto your eye. Although this can be uncomfortable, it does not hurt.
Everyone’s eyes are different so your eye doctor will likely tailor your exam based on your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if you have any questions.