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Velma Dinkley

Coke Bottle Bottoms

I went and had my eyes tested at lunchtime, because it's been a while. I'd sworn never to darken the doors of Vision Express again after suffering rudeness in one branch and incompetence in another, but a Nectar offer of a free test lured me in.

My optician was very thorough, polite (when he accidentally dropped a lens in my lap he waited for me to pick it up rather than scrabble around in my crotch area), and patient about having to repeat the bit where they puff air in your eye ("Yes, very good reactions...would you mind if I held your eyelid open?")

He did say that because my prescription was so strong, he'd like me to come back at a later date and have my pupils dilated with drops so he could take a more detailed look at my eyes. Since no other optician has ever suggested this, and I would have been unable to work or drive afterwards, I declined his offer in a thoroughly cowardly assertive manner. (Really, has this happened to anyone else as part of a routine eye test, or was it the world's worst attempt at a pickup? Hey baby, I can make your pupils dilate?)

The good news is that my left eye has balanced itself out by becoming worse in one way and better in another, so the prescription on that side remains unchanged, while my right has improved to the point where that lens is in fact slightly too strong, so no new glasses required.


I have the dilation test at my annual eye exam. (They do also now have a fancy way of doing the test without dilation, but I don't really mind having the dilation done.) Maybe it's different because I'm in the US, but I certainly wouldn't think it odd to have an eye doctor say they wanted to do it.
This thread has been a real eye-opener ahahahaha. Really, I'd never come across the process in nearly 30 years of eye tests!
Same here - my eyes always get dilated at exams. Of course, my eyesight is gawdawful.
I'm minus 9 and this has never occurred before!
I get my eyes dilated whenever anyone has a chance, but that's mostly because of the retinopathy. I think the optician probably mentioned it to you because certain retinal conditions (not just retinopathy) are more likely in those with very short/long sight.
Yes, I thought of you, because you're the only person I know who's mentioned it (well, until this post, anyway!).
Pupil dilation is an annual thing with my opthalmologist (I also have a very strong prescription).

They also once did a scan with a laser machine that was very cool.
Lasers, that's cool. Stuff in my eyes that makes them go funny? Not cool!
Chiming in to say, yes, dilation always has been and continues to be part of a regular eye exam for me, no matter whether in the US or UK.
Oh God, well, maybe if it comes up again I'll let them. But the idea of not being able to read or ride my bike for hours afterwards horrifies me. What am I, if I can neither read nor ride??

(My dog wants to play with your snowflakes.)
Yup, I have the dilation thing done too. I also have a thing where they put drops in that make the whites of my eyes go yellow (not sure what it is but it's contact-lens related).
Yikes! (To give the Vision Express man credit, he's the first optician ever not to try and steer me on to contact lenses.)
I had those drops once, years ago, when I was in hospital for an emergency eye check-up after I developed a floater. (Yes, just one. My GP was an idiot and could have saved everybody a lot of time, money and worry had they simply explained this was normal and I was lucky to have made it to 25 without any at all.)

Anyway, nobody warned me about them, so I drove to the hospital appointment.

Afterwards, I was miffed and put it to them that either they gave me a bit of paper saying it was safe for me to drive like that, or they paid for two taxis and a silly duration for my car in the hospital car park. They ummed and ahhed and reluctantly gave me the piece of paper.

Actually, it was mainly fine. I couldn't focus on the dashboard and had to wear sunglasses even on an overcasst day, but I could see traffic OK. It's not something I'd recommend to a stupid person, but it's probably safe for someone sensible who knows their vehicle's controls thoroughly and can gauge speed by engine tone. They were pretty brave to give me that piece of paper, though!
I'll remember that in case an emergency arises, but it's not something I fancy in London traffic!

I have one floater I recognise by shape. I'm thinking of giving it a name.
My exam is ALWAYS a dilated one, and always has been. When you're severely myopic like me (20/1125 in the left, 20/1175 in the right) they tend to want to look at the back of the eye to make sure your retinae are still where they're supposed to be, AND that the blood flow is okay.

I suggest getting someone to drive you if you can, for the exam, or finding a place you can chill out for a couple of hours that isn't too far away (i.e., you can walk it) after the exam, because it IS an essential thing to get done.

Now I have them every 6 months because of the diabetes (my blood flow is fine, just have a strange birthmark on my left retina) to make sure my blood vessels are okay and my retinae are firmly attached where they're supposed to be.

So, in short - yes, it's important to have it done and quit tryin to get out of it. (LOL!!) The dilation effect only lasts for 3-4 hours, max (usually less than 2 for my eyes, so you would not be missing much!) and then you can get back to normal operations.
Thanks - in that case I reckon what I should do is get it done at an optician I can walk to, on a Saturday, rather than go to the place near work!