There are plenty of reasons why your eye doctor might dilate your eyes. While getting your eyes dilated is painless, how you act once the procedure is done is important. If you haven't had your eyes dilated before, read this guide to learn three important things following your eye dilation procedure.
1. Avoid Sunlight
Your pupils are your natural defense against the sun and other sources of bright light. Under normal circumstances, your pupils shrink when exposed to bright light to prevent the interior structures of your eyes from damage. However, when your eyes are dilated, a chemical overrides this process, and your pupils remain large.
When your pupils are big, much more light gets into the deeper parts of your eyes. It's up to you to protect them by avoiding sunlight as much as possible and by wearing sunglasses. If you don't have a pair, your doctor will most likely give you a disposable set. Wear them at all times and stay indoors as much as you can until the dilation wears off.
2. Avoid Vision-Intensive Activities
Pupils don't serve the sole purpose of protecting your eyes -they're also important for your vision. When your eyes receive too much or too little light, it can be difficult to see clearly. Since your pupils can't adjust at all after a dilation procedure, you may notice that some things look blurry or out of focus. This is a temporary issue that will go away as soon as your dilation wears off.
In the meantime, try to avoid performing any activities that are reliant on your vision. Driving, for example, may be dangerous immediately following eye dilation. Get a ride from a friend or call a rideshare service, so you don't risk getting into an accident.
3. Weird Tears
Lastly, if you notice that your eyes seem to be tearing up and that the tears are a weird color, don't panic. They may appear brown, green, or another abnormal color. These aren't actually tears, but rather what's left over of the chemical that your doctor used to dilate your eyes.
The eyedrops your doctor gave you are being flushed out of your tear ducts by your own natural tears. The remaining eyedrops have to go somewhere, so they emerge like tears, but have the dark color of the medicine your eye doctor used. They should stop appearing very soon; just wipe them away and let your eyes flush whatever's left out.
Eye dilation is an easy procedure that doesn't hurt and lets your eye doctor perform a variety of exams and tests on your eyes. If you have any concerns or questions about your eye dilation, make sure to ask while you're in the office seeing your eye doctor. For more information, contact a doctor like Dr Joel Zuckerbraun PC.