Healthy Eyes

Frequently Asked Questions

17. What can I expect during a comprehensive dilated eye exam?

During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye the same way an open door lets more light into a dark room. This allows your eye care professional to see the back of your eye, called the retina, and examine your eyes thoroughly. After examination, your close-up vision may be blurry for several hours and you might want to avoid driving, operating any machinery, or doing heavy lifting.

A comprehensive dilated eye exam consists of four types of tests: dilation, tonometry, a visual field test and a visual acuity test. During the exam, your eye care professional will

  • dilate your pupils and use a special magnifying glass to examine the retina to look for any signs of damage and disease (dilation)
  • measure your eye pressure (tonometry)
  • measure your side or peripheral vision (visual field test)
  • check how well you see at various distances (visual acuity test).