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What Happens If You Don’t Wear Sunglasses after Dilation?

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A young man smiling, wearing sunglasses and a black T-Shirt.

Eye exams are an integral part of maintaining good eye health, and one of the standard diagnostic tools used by optometrists is dilation. Dilation involves using drops that cause the pupils to open wide, allowing our Eye Care Plus doctors to view the retina and other eye parts better. 

While dilation is generally a safe and routine procedure, it can have some temporary side effects, including sensitivity to light and blurry vision. This is where sunglasses come in. After dilation, our eye care professionals recommend that patients wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun’s bright and potentially harmful UV rays. 

But what happens if you don’t wear sunglasses after dilation? Generally, not wearing sunglasses after dilation can lead to discomfort and potentially harmful effects on the eyes. 

Specifically, patients may experience increased sensitivity to light, which can cause headaches, eye strain, and even temporary blindness in extreme cases.

What Happens If You Don’t Wear Sunglasses After Dilation?

After having your eyes dilated, it’s important to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harsh light. Failure to do so can result in discomfort and sensitivity to light that can last several hours. Here are some potential effects of not wearing sunglasses after dilation.

Discomfort & Sensitivity to Light

Without proper eye protection, your eyes may feel uncomfortable and sensitive to bright lights, making it difficult to see things.

Increased Risk of Cataracts & Macular Degeneration

Frequent exposure to harmful UV rays can increase the risk of developing serious eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration. These conditions can lead to vision loss over time.

It’s not just after dilation that you need to wear sunglasses, though. Protecting your eyes from harsh sunlight is important for maintaining good eye health. This may include wearing sunglasses outside or driving during the day.

Benefits of Wearing Sunglasses

Not wearing sunglasses after dilation can lead to discomfort and sensitivity to light and even increase your risk of developing serious eye conditions. Remember to wear sunglasses regularly to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and reduce glare. 

UV Protection

Specific sunglasses can provide adequate protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Long-term exposure to these rays can cause severe eye damage, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and cancer.

Glare Reduction

Some sunglasses can help minimize glare and improve visual comfort, especially when driving or participating in outdoor activities. They can help you see things more clearly and reduce eye fatigue.

A man sitting in an optometrist's office and looking into a machine that tests his vision.

Tips for Wearing Sunglasses After Dilation

Wearing sunglasses after dilation can be uncomfortable, but protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays is crucial. Here are some tips to help make the process more comfortable:

  • Choose the right type of sunglasses: Wraparound frames can help to reduce sunlight from entering the sides of your eyes, which can be more comfortable for some people. You may also want to consider polarized lenses, which can reduce glare.
  • Adjust the fit: Getting a properly fitted pair of sunglasses from a professional optician can ensure they fit comfortably on your face. This can also help to reduce the amount of sunlight that enters your eyes from the sides.
  • Take your time: If you find sunglasses uncomfortable after dilation, gradually get used to them by wearing them for short periods. This can help to reduce discomfort over time.
  • Keep them handy: Make sure to always have your sunglasses with you, as exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to your eyes even on cloudy days.

Remember, protecting your eyes from the sun is essential for maintaining healthy vision. By following these tips, you can take the necessary steps to protect your eyes after dilation.

Protect Your Eyes with Eye Care Plus

The harsh UV rays from the sun can cause damage to your eyes, especially when they’re more sensitive after dilation. To prevent unwanted complications, wearing sunglasses after the procedure is always best to protect your eyes. Remember not all sunglasses are created the same.

At Eye Care Plus, we understand the importance of proper eye care and offer a wide range of high-quality sunglasses for all your needs. Our team of experienced optometrists is dedicated to helping you find a pair that suits your lifestyle and budget.

If you experience any discomfort after dilation or want to improve your eye health,  visit one of our Eye Care Plus locations today for friendly and convenient eye care services.

About the Author

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Dr. Jaya M. Pathapati grew up in the Bronx and Yonkers, NY. She got her Bachelor of Science in Biology and was awarded the highest distinction in Biology at the College of Mt. St. Vincent. She received her Doctor of Optometry from the State University of NY, College of Optometry. She rotated through externships that were hospital-based and through Veteran’s Affair in NY. Following graduation, she moved to Amarillo, Texas, with her husband. She has practiced in the Panhandle for the past 21 years.
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