Why Is Eye Dilation Important?

Getting regular eye exams are necessary for your health. Making sure that you treat any vision problems improves your quality of life in many ways.  This can include eliminating headaches and improving your work or school performance, among other benefits. While most people know that eye exams are important, they may not understand why eye dilation is as well. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of eye dilation


Age can affect the decision to dilate your eyes. Patients who are over 40 have an increased risk of developing eye diseases. An example of this is cataracts.  The older you get, the more your risk of developing cataracts increases. This increased risk makes it more important to get your eyes dilated during an eye exam. 

Previous Exam History

If your doctor did not find anything abnormal during your last eye exam, you may not need dilation at your next one.  During your first eye exam, you will need to have your eyes dilated. This is so your doctor can have a baseline to check your eyes during future eye exams.  


Your eye health and general health are important in deciding if you need eye dilation. If you have experienced conditions like retinal detachment, you have an increased risk.  Your doctor will most likely dilate your eyes to check and test them. Also, diseases like diabetes increase your risk of developing eye diseases.   

Why is Getting Your Eyes Dilated Necessary?

There are two main reasons that getting your eyes dilated is important. The first is that it makes the pupil wider, which makes it easier for your doctor to see any eye issues.  Also, eye dilation lets your doctor see straight to the back of your eye. This helps them see and diagnose any conditions requiring treatment.

Six Conditions That Can be Diagnosed from Eye Dilation

  1. Cataracts occur in the natural lens of the eye. The lens gets cloudy because protein clumps together. This leads to vision problems.  Doctors can identify this problem early on because of dilation. This allows them to treat and prevent more serious problems. 
  2. Diabetes causes damage to nerves that make it difficult for them to dilate and contract. The eye is often where symptoms of diabetes first occur.
  3. Eye tumors can be discovered in the early stages during eye dilation. Malignant or benign tumors can create more serious problems, so it is important to find them early on.
  4. Hypertension strains all the blood vessels in the body. Like diabetes, eye dilation could be the first way to know if you have hypertension. This is because during dilation, your eye doctor can see if there is any bleeding from blood vessels. 
  5. Age-related Macular-Degeneration (AMD) occurs when there are masses of pigment under the retina. AMD is one of the main reasons for vision loss. Severe vision loss can be potentially avoided with early detection and diagnosis.
  6. Glaucoma occurs when there is damage to the optic nerve. This leads to blindness that is permanent if it isn’t treated.  Glaucoma doesn’t have symptoms until vision loss has happened. Eye dilation can help detect glaucoma and the changes it causes in the color and shape of the optic nerve.  Ready to schedule your next eye examination? Contact Balin Eye & Laser Center in Northampton, MA today!

Let's Talk