Dilated Eye Exam - Definition

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Definition

A dilated eye exam is an ophthalmologic examination that examines the back of the eye, including the retina, the macula, the vessels of the retina, and the optic nerve head. Before the exam, it is necessary to insert a substance in the eye that will enlarge the pupil and secure it: these are called mydriatic eye drops. Then, the ophthalmologist will send light through the pupil, allowing him to study the deep structures of the eye. This exam is relatively fast and absolutely painless.


The dilated eye exam may reveal inflammation, retinal damage, glaucoma, or other eye abnormalities. It can also monitor the development of diabetes or hypertension and their impacts on the eye.