Pupil Dilation at Home
Cycloplegia, also called pupil dilation, is a medical way of making the pupils of each eye bigger. This is to prepare the eye for further testing procedures such as retinoscopy and retinal examination. This preparatory step also suspends accommodation in patients considered to have very high refractive errors. Adequate cycloplegia means accurate measurement of refractive errors and appropriate prescription for glasses.
It is a procedure typically done in the clinic. However, when the child is uncooperative or when the condition suspected is known to be more accurately addressed with long-acting dilating drops, the patient is advised to undergo home dilation.
A prescription for the dilating drops and diluent shall be provided. The clinic staff prepares the proper dilution that will be used at home. The drops should be applied starting 3 days prior to the date of retinoscopy or retinal exam. They should be applied twice a day (12 hours apart) for 3 days, and on the morning of the scheduled retinoscopy or retinal exam.
The patient will describe blurring of vision (more at near) and sensitivity to bright light for 2 weeks.