Is it safe to drive with dilated pupils?

Myth: You can drive with dilated pupils.

Fact: If your eyes were dilated for an examination by your ophthalmologist driving is extremely dangerous.

The pupil is the black opening in the middle of the colored area (iris). When visiting your ophthalmologist there is a good chance that he/she will need to dilate your pupil to see the posterior parts of your eye through your pupil. This makes it possible to screen for and diagnose diseases such as Glaucoma, Diabetic retinopathy, and AMD. 

It usually takes up to 20 to 40 minutes for your pupils to dilate at the doctor’s office. The pupil stays dilated for a few hours and sometimes even longer. Therefor we always advice our patients to arrange a driver in case we need to dilate their eyes.

While your eyes are dilated you will experience blurry vision and you will not be able to focus on close objects. Your eyes will also be very light sensitive we also advice you bring sunglasses with to help with the glare and sensitivity.  With these side-effects in mind it’s evident that it’s not safe to drive with dilated pupils as you would be putting your own safety at risk getting behind the wheel after dilation.

Fun fact: Light-colored eyes (such as blue, green or hazel) will dilate faster than brown eyes.

Driving and Dilatation

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