An eye exam is a great way to stay on top of eye health. In many cases, patients do not visit their eye doctor until something is wrong with their vision. This could be detrimental to long term eye health. Eye exams are necessary because there are several conditions that do not provide you with ample notice. Eye disease does not tap you on the shoulder and say ” Hey! I’m going to rob you of your ability to see!” Patients of Aloha Eye Clinic are invited to schedule routine exams in either our Kihei or Wailuku office. Sometimes, these exams will involve dilation.
What we Learn from your Dilated Pupils
It isn’t that we directly examine the pupils with dilation (we do that with light); it’s that the pupils are like tiny peepholes through which we can observe structures behind the front of the eye. These include the center of the retina, or macula, the fibers of the optic nerve, and the blood vessels across the back of the eye. It is here where some of the most concerning eye diseases originate.
This concerning condition disrupts the processing of nerve impulses that travel through the optic nerve fibers. These fibers may become cupped where they intersect with the central nervous system, a symptom that can be visualized in the comprehensive eye exam.
Age-related macular degeneration
The macula sits at the center of the retina. This tissue is a layer of individual cells, each of which must be continually regenerated. Certain factors, including age and smoking, can interrupt the proliferation of these cells, ultimately breaking down the macula. We can see the onset of degeneration as a clumping of pigment in this area.
Every person diagnosed with diabetes is encouraged to carefully manage eye health by keeping blood glucose levels low, and by seeing the eye doctor every year. Dilation of the pupils lets us visualize the blood vessels that nourish the eye, observing swelling or fluid leakage that could threaten long term vision.
To dilate the pupils, we insert a few eye drops into each eye. This may sting, but only slightly and for a short time. Because dilated pupils let in the full extent of light, your eyes will be sensitive to light. You will want to wear sunglasses for a few hours, and you should have someone escort you to our office.
Schedule your eye exam today.