Why are you required to have your pupils dilated when seeing the Ophthalmologist?

Dilation is the process of administering eye drops into the eyes to enlarge the pupils. Enlarging the pupils allows additional light to enter the eye. This is performed by an ophthalmic technician prior to seeing the ophthalmologist as it will take approximately 15-20 minutes for your eyes to fully dilate.

The ophthalmic technicians will administer 3 different types of eye drops at the one time. The first of which are anaesthetic drops followed by two different types of dilating drops.

As the ophthalmologist needs to examine the structure of the eye accurately allowing more light to enter the eye enables them to get a clearer image of the eye structures including the cornea, lens, optic nerve, blood vessels and retina. Dilation is a key component of a comprehensive eye examination, as it sometimes leads to the detection and diagnosis of certain eye diseases.

Often considered the worst part of an having an eye exam, dilation of the pupils often causes your close-up vision to be blurred and you become extra sensitivity to light. Sunglasses are recommended after the exam to reduce discomfort caused by sunlight. Dilation generally lasts for three to six hours, but it is not uncommon for it to last up to 24 hours for some patients.

As your eyes are sensitive to light and you will observe blurred vision we advise that you do not drive yourself and arrange alternative transport after your consultation, as it will take a number of hours before the dilation drops wear off.


Thistle Street Medical Centre
Level 1, 36 Thistle Street West
South Launceston, TAS 7249

4 Eastland Drive
Ulverstone, TAS 7310

phone 03 6344 1377
fax 03 6344 1577

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