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Why do Optometrists Use Drops that Make my Eyes Blurry?

September 27, 2021

There are many aspects of a comprehensive eye examination that are critical to assessing a patient’s vision and overall health. The doctors of optometry at Optical Outlets use reading charts, measure the curvature of the cornea (the clear outer surface of the eye), check the movement and focus of the eyes, and perform other sophisticated tests en route to arriving at a thorough evaluation.

One portion of the examination that patients may be curious about is the use of dilating eye drops. These drops leave the patient with blurry vision and a sensitivity to light. So, why is your optometrist administering drops that actually make it more difficult for you to see?

Those drops are used to temporarily widen, or dilate, the eye’s pupil — the black circle at the center of the colored portion of the eye. It usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes for the pupils to open fully. This dilation gives the optometrist a far more precise view of the structures inside the eye, making it easier to detect many potential problems. Without these dilating drops, the pupils would become very small when the optometrist shines a light in the patient’s eyes.

Once the drops have been administered, the blurriness and sensitivity to light usually go away within four to six hours. Our optometrists suggest that our patients bring a pair of sunglasses with them to their appointment, especially if they have to drive afterward. Reading will be difficult until the effects of the drops have worn off.

The doctors of optometry at Optical Outlets take our patients through each step of the eye examination process, so that they will feel comfortable about our procedures, and confident that the health of their eyes is being fully protected. Please contact our office today to learn how our state-of-the-art vision care is clearly the optimal choice for you and your family.