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Posted on 06-04-2018

Dilated Eyes and the Link to Health from our Yakima Optometrist

Our eye care professionals often conduct a dilated eyes test in Yakima. Sometimes, the causes are benign, but other times, eye dilation is a symptom of a greater issue. Dilated eyes can indicate that we're thinking hard, excited or focused. On the downside, dilated eyes may also indicate brain damage.

Man getting eye drops

If you've been in a car accident or suffered a fall, you may have encountered the PERRL test. This is the test that doctors and paramedics use to determine if a person's brain is functioning correctly. They check for the pupils looking equal in size, round and reacting to light. If the eyes do not respond or respond unusually, there could be other issues that need treatment. 

There's another reason for dilating the eyes, though, and that's to make sure the eye itself is healthy. Yakima eye care specialists dilate your eyes so that we can see the retina completely. It's important to detect the early stages of diseases through an eye exam, which is only possible if the eyes are fully dilated. Some commonly discovered diseases or illnesses include high blood pressure, eye tumors and diabetes. 

What to Expect When Your Eyes Are Dilated

During the test, the ophthalmologist uses eye drops to make your pupils dilate. The entire test takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes since it takes up to 20 minutes for the eyes to dilate correctly. It's normal to feel some stinging from the eye drops. 

Once the drops have dilated your eyes, the doctor shines a light into them to examine them. After this, the test is done, but your eyes likely won't be back to normal. It can take up to several hours for your eyes to return to their pre-dilated state. It's a good idea to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes while they're dilated, and you should not drive for several hours.

To learn more about eye dilation and how it can help to protect your eyes, call (509) 965-5200.

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