Having your eyes dilated at the eye doctor's office allows your eye doctor to look deeply into the structures of your eye. However, the medication that they use can potentially last for many hours after your examination. During this time, you need to take additional steps to keep your eyes safe from harm. Here's what you should expect and do after you've had your eyes dilated.
Wear Full Protective Sunglasses
Wearing UV protection over your eyes is an absolute must after they've been dilated. Your pupils naturally constrict in sunlight to reduce the amount of light that strikes your retina. However, when your eyes are forcibly dilated with medication, this process doesn't work the way it normally would.
If you don't have sunglasses with you, ask your doctor for a pair. An optometrist will typically carry disposable sunglasses that provide 100% protection from UV radiation, so don't fret if you don't have a pair with you.
Avoid Eye Strain
Eye strain won't damage your eyes while you're under the effects of medication, but it can be unpleasant for you personally. During the dilation process, your eyes may be more sensitive, and your vision may be slightly unfocused. As a result, staring at work, a computer screen, phone screen, and so on could leave your eyes feeling even more sensitive, tired, or stressed out.
Until your eyes stop being dilated, it's a good idea to let them rest. Take some time to allow the effects of the medication to wear off fully before doing your work. If need be, your eye doctor can always give you a note to excuse you from work or school for the rest of the day.
Use Eye Drops
Finally, for the sake of comfort, you can feel free to use saline eye drops after your procedure. This typically won't speed up the process of your eyes being able to constrict again, but it will help you to feel more comfortable.
Many people experience a sense of dryness in their eyes after having them dilated. This is a side effect of the medication and will wear off naturally on its own. However, if you want your eyes to feel better lubricated, non-medicated saline eye drops can do that for you.
Getting your eyes dilated is a necessary part of an eye exam. While it can't be avoided, following these steps will ensure that your eyes feel and look good as soon as the medication wears off, allowing you to return your usual routine without any damage or concerns.