Can I Drive After an Eye Exam?

Many patients wonder if they can drive following their eye exam in Boiling Springs. A complete eye examination at Palmetto Eye & Laser Center includes dilation of the pupils. This allows your doctor to carefully examine the health of the entire eye, including the back of the eye which includes the optic nerve, macula and retina.

Dilation is a key component of a comprehensive eye exam, allowing doctors to identify and diagnose eye problems that they may otherwise not see. Dilation involves the use of special eye drops that either stimulate contraction of the muscles surrounding the pupil or relaxes the muscles so that they open.

Once the dilation drops are administered, it normally takes 20 – 30 minutes for the eyes to dilate. It then just takes 5 – 10 minutes for the eyes to be examined. The pupils will remain dilated or larger than normal for 4 – 6 hours. During this time your vision may be slightly blurry, and you will experience increased light sensitivity. For adults, sensitivity to light does not last long compared to children, who can experience sensitivity up to 24 hours. People with light colored eyes are also more sensitive than those with dark eyes. Typically, vision is back to normal within an hour.

There is no specific period of time that a person must wait before driving after having their eyes dilated; the decision to drive after an eye exam is a personal choice. Many patients do drive themselves after having their eyes dilated, but it is important to remember that you will be sensitive to light, and your vision may be somewhat blurry. You should wear dark sunglasses after your exam. Your safety is important to us, so if you do not feel comfortable driving, you should arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home. To schedule an eye exam with one of our doctors or to learn more about driving after eye dilation, contact Palmetto Eye & Laser Center at 864-583-6381 or palmettoeyeandlaser.com today.