Hate having your eyes dilated? By: J. Andrew Ho, OD

Do you hate going to the eye doctor and having your eyes dilated? If you answered yes, then you are with the majority. Why do we dilate your eyes at the eye doctor? The answer is simple: we need to see the back of your eye; also known as the retina.

Why do I need to be dilated?”

A dilated exam allows us to assess the health of not only the retina, but also your systemic health for diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and much more. Most retinal diseases are neither felt nor symptomatic until it has already caused damage. Being proactive with your eye health is our goal at VisionFirst Eye Center, which leads the way in helping us care and preserve our patients’ vision long term.

No More Dilation”

Good News! VisionFirst now offers an alternative to the drops but still provide the same quality of care. With the CLARUS 500 ultra-widefield capabilities, we are able to see a significant portion of the patient’s retina without the conventional dilation with eye drops. Signs of early ocular disease are often subtle and can occur in the periphery of the retina; which makes a dilated retinal exam very important for early diagnosis and treatment. Widefield imaging has shown to reveal comparable retinal disease detection as standard dilated exams for certain eye diseases and allows for more thorough documentation as studied by the Joslin Diabetes Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliate.

“Not for Everyone”

However, the CLARUS® 500 is not meant for everyone— patients with a history of certain eye diseases or presenting conditions, your doctor may determine the need to perform a dilated exam on your eyes and use the CLARUS® 500 as an adjunctive test in monitoring your condition. But for many patients, this technology is perfect for routine exams and for increased documentation to better care for and monitor your eye health. We are excited to share this new technology with our patients at VisionFirst Eye Center at our Trussville and Alabaster locations.

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