Frequently Asked Questions / Info

Why Do I Need My Eyes Dilated?

Pupils Are the Windows to the Body

Although dilation can make vision blurry for part of the day,Pupil dilation is extremely important, because it allows the optometrist to fully examine the retina. eye exam. Most eye exams start with tests to determine the refractive state, also known as the glasses or contact lens prescription. However, a comprehensive exam should not stop there.

The external parts of the eye such as the lids, lashes, cornea, conjunctiva and iris are easily viewed under the microscope without the use of eye drops. The internal structures, however, are best examined after the pupils are dilated with eye drops. The reason lies in the understanding that the iris has a circular muscle called a sphincter that constricts the pupil in bright light. We use dilating drops to prevent the iris muscles from constricting and blocking our view. With the pupils dilated the doctor can exam the retina, blood vessels and optic nerve on the inside of the eye. The retina is a very thin sheet of light-sensitive tissue that lines the back wall of the eye. It is the only place in the human body that one can clearly view arteries and veins without skin or bone obstructing the view. Although most of the conditions described above usually occur in adults it is still important that children get their eyes dilated as well. Not only do the drops allow a better view to the back parts of the eye, and early diagnosis of disease, but it also relaxes the focusing muscles (which is why it is sometimes hard to focus up close after a dilated exam). Children and young adults especially have the ability to focus at different distances. Excessive focusing during the exam can alter the refraction, or determination of the prescription. Using the drops to temporarily disable the eye’s focusing mechanism (called cycloplegia) allows for a more accurate reading. A cycloplegic refraction is also necessary for anyone undergoing refractive surgery to avoid under or over correction.
As you can see, a dilated eye exam provides you with the most thorough eye health examination possible, and at Chapel Hill Eyecare we have dilation reversal drops upon request.


noswimmingCan I Swim in Contacts?

In case you didn’t already know, we do not recommend that anyone swim in their contact lenses. It is a hazard to your health. The bacteria and other micro-organisms that live in the water can stick to your contacts and increase your risk of a serious eye infection. Even chlorinated pools and hot tubs are unsafe. The best way to avoid a problem is to not wear your contacts, but if you’re someone who must have correction, then talk to one of our doctors about daily disposable contacts for swimming or recreation. You can wear them once and throw them away.

Woman Using ComputerDo I Have Computer Related Eyestrain?

Do you spend more than one hour a day on a computer? Do your eyes get tired or irritated in front of a computer monitor? Do you have difficulty finding the right focus with your glasses? Does your neck get sore or tight when trying to use your progressive or bifocal glasses to surf the web or work online? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could have computer related eyestrain or computer vision syndrome (CVS). Ask your doctor for more information.

With the increasing number of computers in the home and workplace these days, there is no wondering why more and more people are complaining of computer related vision problems. The good news is that you can do something about it! Taking frequent and short breaks at the computer can help with fatigue. Positioning your computer screen and keyboard to the appropriate heights can head and body posture. Artificial tears can help relieve irritation and dryness. A separate pair of computer glasses is a great way to relax your neck and eyes and will provide optimum correction for the computer screen distance. There are also computer-near progressive lenses that provide correction for reading and the computer. Talk to your doctor about the best options for you.