Eye Dilation

Dilating eye drops are used to enlarge your pupils so an eye doctor see the lens, optic nerve and retina more clearly.

What to expect
  • It usually takes 20 to 30 minutes for complete dilation.
  • Lighter colored eyes can be more sensitive to light and dilate faster than people with darker colored eyes.
  • When you eyes are dilated your vision may be blurry or unfocused. This usually wears off after a few hours, however, eye may still appear dilated for up to 24 hours.
  • Sunglasses can help to reduce glare and light sensitivity after your pupils have been dilated.
  • You should consider having someone drive you home after your appointment.
  • Children can go back to school, but teachers should expect them to have blurry vision while reading.
How dilating drops work

The drops temporarily paralyzing the muscle that makes the pupil smaller and stimulate the muscle that makes the pupil larger, preventing the pupil from focusing.

Other purposes

Dilating eye drops may be used after certain types of surgeries, or with certain eye conditions to prevent scar tissue from forming around the pupil.

Dilation may also be used to determine a new glasses prescription, or to treat children who have amblyopia , commonly referred to as “lazy eye”.