How to Get Rid of Dilated Eyes Faster (Truth Revealed)

What Is Eye Dilation / Dilatation?

During an eye examination, the doctor may dilate your eyes so they can look at the structures located at the back of your eye. The doctor looks for conditions such as these:

  • High blood pressure: When your blood pressure is untreated for a long period, you could damage the retina’s blood vessels. Retinal function can be impaired in certain cases of untreated high blood pressure.

  • Detachment of the retina from its normal position is known as retinal detachment. It causes partial or complete blindness if not treated early. A person may experience sudden floaters in the vision, distorted or blurred vision, or an inability to see with one eye.

  • Macular degeneration: This condition affects the macular portion of the retina. Vision loss is irreversible due to this condition in most cases.

  • The optic nerve: It can be damaged as a result of glaucoma. There are different types of glaucoma. One of the main causes of damage to the eye is abnormally high eye pressure.

  • Genetic disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa, Best’s disease, hereditary fundus dystrophies and optic disc abnormalities etc.

  • Degenerative disorders like high myopia

During an eye examination, dilating the eye may be performed to check for diseases and conditions not usually visible in an undilated eye, such as a glaucoma and retinal detachment. There is a uniform method for performing any dilation, regardless of the reason. Generally, mydriatic eye drops are administered to widen the pupils.

A number of factors determine how often you should have your pupils dilated. You may only be recommended to have routine eye examinations if you have relatively good overall health. Your doctor will recommend the schedule based on several factors, including:

  • Your age is over 40 years.

  • You have had blunt or penetrating trauma to the eye

  • A retinal detachment has occurred in the past or you have another eye issue that affects the back of your eye.

  • If you have family history of hereditary disorders and at least one of your family members is affected.

  • You have noticed new symptoms in your eye which need a detailed examination.

  • You have a higher risk of glaucoma, especially if you have family history of this condition.

  • Diabetic retinopathy: Your eyes may be affected if you suffer from diabetes or any other health condition.

Is It Necessary to Dilate My Eyes?

Eye examinations are incomplete without dilation. This may seem like an inconvenience to you. The doctor can see into your eye better when you are dilated. The importance of this is particularly relevant if you suffer from eye problems or if you are more likely to develop certain eye diseases.

When light falls on your eyes, your pupil normally shrinks. A dilation procedure, however, involves the use of drops to force the pupil to stay open for a few hours by using special eye drops. As a result, your doctor can examine the entire retina, the macula, and the optic nerve at the back of your eye.

In a dilated exam, your doctor may notice problems like a torn retina or detached retinal tissue. You can also have them check your eyes for diseases that have not manifested yet but can lead to blindness in the long run.

How Long Does Dilation Last?

Most dilations last for an average of four to six hours. You can expect your eyes to remain dilated for a longer period of time depending on the eye drops the doctor uses. These are the most commonly used eye drops to dilate the eyes:

  • Phenylephrine

  • Homatropine

  • Atropine

  • Tropicamide

  • Cyclopentolate

Normally, when your doctor dilates your pupils, he uses two types of drops. There is a drop used in the procedure which contracts the muscles controlling the pupil so that it becomes larger. An example of an eye drop of this kind is Phenylephrine.

Relaxing the muscles that focus the eye lens is used in the second type. This allows the pupil to become smaller by relaxing the muscles that focus the lens. Examples of such eye drops include cyclopentolate.

It is best to plan on experiencing dilation for at least six hours if you are having eye dilation performed for the first time. When your pupils are dilated, you will be more sensitive to light, so make sure you have some sunglasses so you don’t suffer from light sensitivity.

Can You Make Recovery from Dilated Eyes Faster?

The length of time your eyes remain dilated is determined by your response to the eye drops your doctor uses.

Your doctor might use different eye drops depending on the reason for your appointment. For an examination, they would use a short-acting mydriatic, which will dilate your pupils and allow them to see the inside of your eye. For a surgery, they will use a different set of eye drops so that eye dilation lasts longer and stays consistently dilated during surgery.

A faster reduction of pupil size cannot be achieved. Although there are eye drops (for example, pilocarpine) which can constrict your dilated pupils, but as per the current practice, they are not used routinely. The reason is that drugs like pilocarpine may cause ocular pain and inflammation in many patients.

Additionally, there may be systemic side effects of pilocarpine which is not desirable.

If you get home, you might want to take a nap to reduce the amount of light your eyes receive.

In the event that your vision is impaired, it is best to avoid activities such as reading and watching television until the effects wear off.

How to Make Eye Dilation Go Away Faster

It’s true that there are special drops that can reduce dilation, but their use is rarely recommended by doctors. Make your time as manageable as possible while your pupils are dilated.

Here are some tips to ease your discomfort:

  • Arrange for someone to drive you home when your appointment is over

  • Do not drive yourself

  • Do not forget to wear sunglasses if you are outside for any length of time

  • Do not spend excessive amounts of time in direct sunlight

  • Protect your eyes when viewing digital screens with blue-light-blocking glasses

  • Dim your screens whenever possible to reduce eye strain

The time it takes for your pupils to return to normal size can range from four to six hours from the time your pupil dilation peaks. According to your age, eye color, and medications you take, your pupil may dilate for longer periods of time.

Generally, it is easier to dilate the eyes of younger people than people over 60 years of age. Diabetics are difficult to dilate, especially if their blood sugar is not managed properly.

Eye dilation is a common part of an eye examination. The process of dilating your eyes is a necessary inconvenience in order to get a comprehensive picture of your eyes, which can then be used for diagnosis and treatment. Despite the inconvenience, life can resume as usual after a few hours.

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