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  • Writer's picturePeninsula Eye Physicians

Why should my child be dilated?

Eye drops are used to help us to further evaluate vision and eye health. First, an anesthetic eye drop is used to numb the eye. Then special eye drops will be used (age and eye dependent) to relax, or cycloplege, the focusing muscles of the eyes. Cycloplegia allows for a more accurate measurement of refractive error and the need for glasses. This is especially important for children in the treatment of amblyopia ("lazy eye") and strabismus (eye misalignment). These same eye drops will also dilate (enlarge) the pupils to improve the "view in" to better evaluate the internal health of the eyes. This is important to rule out any eye diseases or abnormalities that may be affecting your child's vision. Depending on which drops are used, the pupils may be dilated for 2 to 8 hours. The blurry vision usually wears off sooner however.

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