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dilation

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by r_salis, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    I realize this isn't a question about Optometry school, exactly, but I was just wondering...

    Is dilation required for a full eye exam? When I had my eyes checked by an optometrist a few weeks ago he told me I didn't need to be dilated because I had large pupils and he could see into my eye well enough to do the exam. Was he just being lazy?
     
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  3. TomOD

    TomOD Senior Member
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    Probably just being lazy. If you are a high myope ( > -3.00D or so) or have a history of eye disease or family eye disease (Glaucoma, Diabetes, etc.) you should have been dilated. If you are young and healthy it is a judgement call. I would have dilated you because I have a hard time telling people their eyes are healthy if I only looked at 20% of the retina.
     
  4. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    I'm sorry for being a ******, but how is dilation done? I'm not sure that my optometrist has ever dilated me before, but my prescription is -3.5D, so maybe I just didn't know what he was doing.
     
  5. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    Dilation is done with drops. Usually both an anesthetic and a dilation drop. It basically enlarges your pupil to enable your doctor to get a better view of your entire retina. If you're not dilated by your doctor, the doc doesn't get a good view of your entire retina. Like Tom said, it's only like 20% undilated. It's especially important if you have a family history of retinal disease (macular degeneration and the like) or are highly myopic (it can cause retinal thinning). The doctor will usually use either a BIO (binocular indirect ophthalmoscope) to examine the retina or a 78D or 90D lens behind a slit lamp to view your retina. The advantages to this is to view the entirely of the retina.. and an advantage to the 78 lens is it allows you to view depth.

    If your doctor is not doing this for you... ask him/her if they feel you should be dilated. I always am every year because I was born premature and have ROP so I'm monitored to make sure nothing's causing problems. I'm also highly myopic (-8.00 ) and my doctors watch for retinal thinning. Although, now that I'm in school I'm looked at almost twice a month. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> Everyone wants to look at the class freak with ROP. :D

    If I can get a copy of the retinal photos we took with the camera at school.. I'll post 'em so y'all can see my freaky fundus. I'm sure at least you'll get a kick out of it, Tom. :)
     
  6. TomOD

    TomOD Senior Member
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    Yeah,

    We had a guy with a past retinal detachment who had a scleral buckle. He was our class "freak". Very cool to look at. ROP is something you don't see everyday. The good news is that the people with "unusual" retinas usually didn't get picked to be on display during practicals.
     
  7. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    There's nothing remarkable about my history, and I have 20/15 vision (not for too many more years, I know :) ) so maybe it's not unusual that the doctor didn't feel I needed to be dilated. It just sounded a little shady at first that he said that my pupils were large enough to see plenty of my retina.

    cpw (and other opt students) -- are there many students in your class with 20/20 vision? I've wondered if I'm going to be the class freak in opt school for having *good* vision. It seems like many people go into optometry because they've had personal experience with it on the patient end of things.
     
  8. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    That is a big reason why many people get into optometry. But, there are a fair share of people in my class with "normal" vision. And no, you won't be looked down upon.. in fact, most of the people in your class will probably envy you. It's harder to explain the "why optometry?" question at an interview when you can't say.. "well, I started wearing glasses when I was five.. etc, etc". But,

    Another thing I noticed in your original post: if the doc was shining an ophthalmoscope into your eye to check your retina.. there's no way your pupils were "large". Um.. light... equals.. let's think about this one real hard.. SMALL pupils. :cool:
     
  9. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    Hmm, "light = small pupils"... Excellent point... I'll go with the explanation that he didn't think I needed dilation for legitimate reasons but didn't think I could handle the explanation for it. Naughty, naughty man...

    As for my reasons for going into optometry -- I don't have a long history with wearing glasses or having unusual eye problems, but I think I have a pretty convincing "interview" story. My interest began when I sat on my sunglasses awhile back. I went into an optical shop at lunchtime to see if they could fix them for me, and ended up getting an eye exam and spending an hour talking to the optometrist about his job. He so inspired me -- he was a "2nd career" person like I am -- that after a few months of research (talking to everyone I could find, visiting a few schools, etc.) and realizing that I *really* could do this -- I quit my job and went back to school full-time to complete my pre-req's. Here's hoping for Fall 2003! :D
     
  10. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    That all sounds very familiar. I worked in biotech two years then started taking post-bacc classes at night and applied. I'm also a 'second career" OD student. Good luck!! let me know if you have any questions about applying.. we're here to help!! :D
     
  11. abs1

    abs1 Senior Member
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    Dont worry, I was going to be a psychologist before I got into the wonderful world of optometry (or "upside down-backwards land" as i like to call it!) :)

    Oh and I have 20/20 vision and most people are envious...however i do have 20 prism diopters of esotropia so i get to be a guinea pig too! :D
     
  12. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
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    oooo 20PD eso... you ARE a freak! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> And you do get used to the upside down and backward thing.. promise. You must be dealing with the wonders of the BIO! :D
     

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