The Frustration of Pupil Dilation

Is it really necessary?

Nobody really likes going to the doctor anyway, but the eye doctor adds another level of inconvenience sometimes. My daughter and I visited the eye doctor today, and the exam included dilation of our pupils.  This is inconvenient and lasts for several hours, so I dread it each time. Even the drive home with dilated pupils is a bit scary because my vision is so off.  We left the office, clad in our newly acquired fashionable eye wear and headed for home, hoping for the best as I couldn’t see very well at all.  The plastic covers I had inserted behind my regular sunglasses were pushing against my eyelashes, too, so the whole thing was awkward feeling.

Once I could see well enough to read, which was a couple of hours later, I decided to see why dilation is so necessary, and according to the Mayo Clinic, “During an eye exam, your doctor uses special eyedrops to cause eye dilation. The drops cause the black portion at the center of your eye (pupil) to widen, allowing your doctor a good view of the back of your eye. Eye dilation can help your doctor diagnose many diseases and conditions, such as:


Eye tumors

High blood pressure

Infectious diseases

Macular degeneration

Retinal detachment


Many diseases and conditions can be detected at their earliest stages during an eye exam. For this reason, most eye doctors recommend eye dilation as part of a routine eye exam schedule.”

Considering that some of these issues are very serious, and early detection can make all the difference, I guess four hours out of my year isn’t so much to sacrifice for the sake of my eye health.  Still, though, it is frustrating to lose clear vision for so long.  It certainly beats losing clear vision for good, though!  I remind myself, too, that I am thankful that I have access to good healthcare.  I know it’s a luxury many would love to have!

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