Video: The Importance of Dilation


What is a comprehensive dilated eye exam?

A comprehensive dilated eye exam is an eye examamination during which the eye doctor places dilating drops in the eyes. The dilating drops dilate, or widen (open), the pupil. The eye doctor shines a light into the eye, without the pupil constricting, and then examines the inside of the eye to look for abnormailities, physical damage, and signs of disease.


Many of the conditions detected during a dilated eye examination have no symptoms yet can result in permanent vision loss. Early detection is vital to preserving the best vision possible.


A few of the conditions detected during a dlated eye examination are:

  • Age-related macular degeneration

  • Damage to the optics nerve

  • Diabetic retinopathy

  • Elevated cholesterol levels

  • Glaucoma

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

  • Ocular tumor

  • Retinal detachment

  • Vasculitis


Many diseases and conditions can be detected at their earliest stages during a dilated eye exam.  That's why most eye doctors perform dilation as part of a routine eye exam, and why a dilated eye exam should be a part of everyone's preventative health care program.


Whether eye dilation is necessary at each eye is determined by your eye doctor and depends on your overall health, your health history and that of your family, changes in your vision, and the reason for your eye exam.