Is It Possible to Have an Eye Exam Without Dilation?
What’s that one thing most people worry about before getting an eye exam? Dilation tests. Some patients may even try to talk their optometrist out of performing the dilation procedure if they have somewhere important to go after their eye exam.
The reality is that eye examinations should be conducted regularly by an optometrist to ensure optimal eye health. Most comprehensive eye exams require you to have your eyes dilated, and that’s what people are worried about.
This brings us to our topic: is it possible to have an eye exam without dilation? You’re going to find out shortly. But first things first:
WHAT IS EYE DILATION?
Eye dilation is a standard medical procedure that is performed by an eye doctor while they are conducting an eye exam. It typically involves placing dilating eye drops into a patient’s eyes to make their pupils broaden (widen up) in order to view the inside of the eye.
Eye dilation occurs 10 to 20 minutes after the eye drops have been placed in the pupils.
Many people consider dilation tests to be a bothersome process because there are a few symptoms that can last for hours after your eye exam has been completed.
Some of the symptoms you may feel after dilation include:
- Blurry vision
- Inability to focus on objects closer to you
- Sensitivity to light
It is recommended for patients with dilated pupils to wear sunglasses after completing their exam to prevent too much light from penetrating the eyes. In some cases, you might need assistance driving home. The side effects typically last between 3 to 6 hours. However, it could be shorter or longer – based on the way your eyes react to the dilation.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN BE DETECTED FROM EYE DILATION?
When your eyes are dilated by an optometrist, it widens your pupils so your doctor can use a magnifying lens to look inside your eye and see the retina, optic nerve, blood vessels, and other parts of your eyes. This can help your eye doctor check for many common eye problems including:
- Retinal detachment
- Macular degeneration
As you get older, there’s a slight chance that you might be at risk for the conditions above. Thus, an examination of the eyes – which typically involves dilation – is essential. A proper eye exam can often diagnose early vision issues and in some cases, provide early intervention treatment that can strengthen eyesight or prevent it from deteriorating further.
DOES NEW TECHNOLOGY OFFER EXAMS WITHOUT DILATION?
Since dilation is considered a nuisance by most people, is there a way to get an eye exam without one?
The answer is….Maybe.
Technology is gradually sweeping through every sector, bettering our lives for it. Undoubtedly, the medical industry has been a recipient of innovations that make medical procedures easier for both doctors and patients.
An impressive technology has been developed that allows many patients to have eye exams without the need for a dilation test. Optomap®, a flagship product of Optos®, is a fascinating imaging technology that gives optometrists a full view of the retina without the need for dilation.
Optomap, a laser ophthalmoscope, scans the retinal digitally by taking a picture of the eyes. This tool features various wavelengths of laser light that examine different retinal layers and capture an image. The image of the retina is then uploaded immediately to a computer monitor, where it is evaluated by the eye doctor.
You may already be thinking: “Isn’t this procedure invasive and painful?”. The truth is that it isn’t. Optomap scans can be completed within seconds and allow your optometrist to review them immediately. And it’s not a painful process at all. Patients will experience a brief bright light and it is done.
BENEFITS OF OPTOMAP PROCEDURES
There are several benefits to this new technology. Some of them include:
- There is no recovery time
- Your eyes won’t get blurry
- You won’t be photosensitive to bright lights
- You won’t need assistance in driving back home or to work
- Faster eye examination time
- The retinal image can be saved for future evaluation and comparison
- Allows you to have a better view of what’s going on with your eyes
From all indications, you can see that Optomap scans are a preferred option if you don’t want your eyes dilated.
It is important to note that while the Optomap procedure is quite effective, it is not a total replacement for dilation tests. There may be instances where an optometrist may dilate your eyes for thorough examinations. It may not be an option for patients with certain eye conditions as well.
FIND AN OPTOMETRIST THAT OFFERS OPTOMAP NEAR YOU
Now that you know it’s possible to have an eye exam without the need for dilation, where can you go to check your eyes with Optomap?
This state-of-the-art technology is not available everywhere yet. If you live in South Florida, you can find Optomap at Everything Eyes, located in Delray Beach just North of Boca Raton.
Everything Eyes is a premier eye care provider that offers both comprehensive eye exams and a well stocked optical with all of the latest styles. Our board-certified optometric physicians, Dr. Garmizo and Dr. Golchin, give each patient the personal attention they deserve while our friendly team of insurance experts, technicians, and opticians provide concierge treatment to make sure you’re not just seeing well, but also looking good.
We have built a reputation for being the best optometrist in Delray Beach, and are proud to have a near perfect 4.9 stars from over 215 patients on Google. Check out our latest reviews
Everything Eyes is conveniently located in Delray on Jog Road just North of Boca Raton in between Linton Boulevard and Clint Moore Road across from Morikami. We are even open on weekends. For more information call (561) 499-2055 or click here to schedule an appointment.
Schedule an Appointment
We are even open on Saturdays!