The Key Role of your Pupils during an Eye Exam

eye-dilationHave you ever wondered if you’ll need to have your eyes dilated for an eye exam? Does the idea of this method of analysis cause you to feel apprehensive? It shouldn’t . The more you know, the better you can feel about your visits to the eye doctor. We want patients of our Chester, NJ eye center to feel confident about the care they receive, and comfortable during their appointments. Here, we will discuss the value of the comprehensive eye exam that includes dilation.

Dilated Eyes: What does it mean?

Your eyes work by the refraction and translation of light. Light enters the eye through the pupil. It is then bounced off the retina as nerve impulses, and processed in the brain. Any disruption to the entrance of light, its refraction, or its translation will cause vision problems. Some of these problems go beyond needing eyeglasses to read fine print; some of them can cause vision loss. The early detection of such diseases is clearly advantageous, and that comes from an eye exam in which we look through the dilated pupil.

Put in the simplest terms, dilated pupils are enlarged pupils.

Dilated Eyes: Why they Matter

We can see a fair amount of the eye in a routine exam. However, we cannot accurately observe the small but important structures at the back of the eye, including the center of the retina (the macula) and the optic nerve fibers.  And there is good reason to have these areas of the eye examined!

  • Glaucoma develops “silently” at the back of the eye, in the fibers that transmit nerve impulses to the brain. If these fibers become cupped near the central nervous system insertion point, we may further test for glaucoma.
  • Diabetic patients will want to have their retinas examined regularly for diabetic retinopathy. This condition originates in the blood vessels at the back of the eye, which may become compressed due to swelling. They may even leak a slight amount of blood into the tissue around the retina.
  • Age-related macular degeneration is a potentially serious condition also linked to the retina. The clumping of pigment in the layer of cells at the center of this structure, known as the macula, indicates abnormal growth and, possibly, the onset of a condition we want to manage carefully.

To schedule your visit to Silverstein Eye, call 908-879-7297.


Posted in: Eye Conditions

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