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.
In the clinic, the clinic staff will ask the parent to hold the child in a sitting position with the chin up. The parent will lift the eyelids while the clinic staff applies the dilating drop on the eyes. This is repeated every 5-10 minutes until 3 doses are given. The retinoscopy or retinal exam shall be done 15-20 minutes after the last drop was applied to maximize the effect.
The patient will describe blurring of vision (more at near) and sensitivity to bright light for 6-8 hours after the procedure. In some individuals, this could last for 24 hours. A prescription for glasses, or a request for further eye testing (if necessary), and the date of the next clinic visit shall be given after the consultation.