Dilated Eye Exams Critical for Maintaining Eye Health

Published: May 19, 2021

Dilated Eye Exams 600

Dilated eye exams are important, not only to check for vision, but to screen for a number of eye conditions, including glaucoma, retinal detachment, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.(1)

How often a person requires a dilated eye exam depends on age, and the risk of eye disease. A patient should discuss this with their doctor.(2) Generally, a dilated eye exam is indicated every one to two years for people who: are over the age of 60; are African American and over the age of 40; have a family history of glaucoma.(2)

For diabetic patients, The American Academy of Ophthalmology has additional recommendations:

  • People with Type 1 diabetes should have their first eye exam within five years of diagnosis
  • People with Type 2 diabetes should have their eye exam at time of diagnosis
  • A diabetic woman considering pregnancy is recommended to have an eye exam prior to conception or early in the first trimester(3)

Once drops are administered, pupils take between 15 and 30 minutes to fully dilate. Generally, it takes four to six hours for the drops to wear off completely. In that time people, patients may experience blurry vision and sensitivity to light.(3)

For surgery centers and providers, Edge Pharma offers Phenylephrine 2.5%/Tropicamide 1% in a 15mL bottle, used during dilating exams.


(1) Hersh, E., reviewed by Griff, A. O.D., healthline, How Long Does It Take for the Effects from Eye Dilation Drops to Wear off,https://www.healthline.com/
(2) National Eye Institute, Get a Dilated Eye Exam, https://www.nei.nih.gov/
(3) Ou, y. M.D., Bright Focus, The Dilated Eye Exam: Why It’s So Important, https://www.brightfocus.org/