Dilating Eyes Before An Eye Exam

Has an eye doctor ever dilated your eyes? Eye dilation has been a common part of the eye inspection process for decades. If you’ve ever wondered why that is, we’re here to help.

What is Eye Dilation?

The eye dilation process involves the application of a special compound that dilates the pupils. This can involve an eye dropper or a spray. The compound blocks the parasympathetic receptors in the sphincter of your iris, which in turn prevents the muscles in the sphincter from contracting. This keeps your iris open to let more light in, allowing your doctor to better see your retina as well as other parts of your inner eye.

Eye dilation is used to inspect for the following conditions:

Side-Effects of the Dilation Process

The most common side-effect of eye dilation is light sensitivity and blurry vision for 4 to 24 hours after the exam. It’s strongly recommended that patients don’t drive until these symptoms go away, so you may want to arrange a ride with a friend or call an Uber. Some patients have mild allergic reactions involving redness, swelling near the eye, or dry mouth.

Since 1903, the Cheyenne Eye Clinic and Surgery Center has provided comprehensive eye care services to improve patients’ sight and enhance their lives—and we want to do the same for you. Whether you need a routine eye exam or cataract surgery. Whether you want a new pair of glasses or you need a contact lens fitting. Whether you’ve been a patient for decades or you just moved here. You’ll get the same personal care and attention from our board-certified doctors, experienced technicians, and friendly staff. Everything we do is focused on you so you can focus on what matters.


Due to an office-wide system outage, Cheyenne Eye Clinic & Surgery Center will be operating on paper charts, and you may expect some delays (*Emergent cases will be prioritized).  If you would like to reschedule your appointment for a later time, our staff will be happy to assist you.  We will contact patients for non-urgent appointment scheduling once the system is back up and running. Thank you for your understanding.