You are currently viewing 7 FAQs for Getting Your Eyes Dilated

7 FAQs for Getting Your Eyes Dilated

What’s with the big eyes? Oh, right—they’ve been dilated! Every once and a while, your eye appointment will include that interesting procedure. Have you ever wondered why? We’ll give you the answer to that and other FAQs for getting your eyes dilated.

Q: Why do I need to get my eyes dilated?

A: This represents the most common of the FAQs for getting your eyes dilated. Your doctor actually has several reasons to perform this part of the exam! First of all, it helps him or her check your eye from front to back. That gives you a more comprehensive vision test. Plus, the dilation can allow your doctor to determine if you have a certain ocular illness.

Q: What illnesses can be diagnosed through dilation?

A: Dilation can save you time and money. More importantly, it can save your health and your vision! The process can reveal whether or not you have conditions like diabetic retinopathy, high blood pressure, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinal detachment.

Q: How long do the drops take to work?

A: Your eye doctor has put in the drops. Now, you wait! It takes anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour for your eyes to completely dilate.

Q: How long will it take for my pupils to return to their normal size?

A: Your eyes can dilate fairly quickly. Getting back to their normal size, however, takes a good bit longer. You can expect to wait four to six hours before they return to their pre-dilated state.

Q: How often can I expect to get my eyes dilated?

A: On average, your exam will include dilation every two years. The method also serves a hallmark in comprehensive exams. If you haven’t gotten your eyes checked in a while—or if you didn’t get them dilated last year—then it’s time. Additionally, if you are older than 60, you will need your eyes dilated yearly.

Q: Will I be able to drive afterward?

A: Short answer: no! Long answer: Dilation turns focusing into a struggle. Since you won’t be road-ready, please find a friend or family member to take you to your appointment.

Q: Will I be able to work after?

A: Like with driving, you will have trouble focusing and seeing after eye dilation. You may also experience eye strain. So, try and schedule your appointment for the end of the day. Or, if you can, plan to take the rest of the day off!


Now you can see them clearly: the answers to these FAQs for getting your eyes dilated. If you find yourself overdue for an exam, make an appointment! You can find your clinic at Plus, if you want to learn more about eye care, visit our blog here.