Eye Dilation Side Effects


Many eye examinations require eye dilation to be performed as the first step. The eye drops used for dilation widen your pupils, allowing your doctor to get a clear view of the back of your eye. Although eye dilation side effects do exist, they rarely occur or give negligible discomfort. What’s more, its side effects are massively outweighed by its benefits. The eye dilation process helps an optometrist diagnose eye diseases at an early stage itself and eliminates the pain caused due to some eye diseases.

Eye dilation is an important step in many eye exams. The optometrist first considers a few aspects to minimize eye dilation side-effects. Your age, eye health, overall body health and the reason for eye exam are the basic parameters that are considered before dilating the eye. Some of the eye dilation side effects that have to be considered are as follows.

Mydriatic Effects

Mydriatic is the drug present in eye drops that are used to dilate your eye. At first, these drops might create a stinging, burning sensation, irritation, and redness in your eyes. These effects last only for a few minutes but dilate the eyes for several hours. Some side effects that last for a longer time span are light sensitivity, blurred vision, headache, and pain around the area of the eye.

Though they have side effects, they are very beneficial in reducing the inflammation of your eyes after any surgery or other conditions. It also helps treat amblyopia.

Cycloplegic Effects

Cycloplegic is a type of a mydriatic agent that has an effect which lasts for around 2 weeks. The drug disables the ciliary muscles, causing a loss of accommodation in the eye. There are chances that the eyes may water, swell or redden due to these drops. People with narrow-angle glaucoma should not be exposed to these drugs.

As it makes the pupil widen for a longer span and paralyzes the ciliary muscle, any refractive error can be diagnosed easily. It also helps in treating uveitis.

Systematic Effects

Drops are absorbed by the body and hence can have an effect outside the eye too. There are chances that these drops may create a rise in your blood pressure, paleness, lightheadedness, irregular heartbeat, mouth dryness, tiredness and more. These eye dilation side effects do not usually last for long.

  • Keeping your eyes healthy is very important. Eye dilation side effects do not last for a long time and hence, getting an eye test done using them is not a major concern. In fact, they help in the proper diagnosis of your eye. However, one should follow proper precautions after the dilation process. You should avoid putting stress on your eyes, avoid driving, or avoid the use of other drops without consulting an expert. To get an eye test and find out more about your eye health, schedule an appointment with the eye experts.