Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
Does it hurt your eyes to go swimming while your eyes are dilated?

Answer:
The short answer: do whatever you are comfortable doing with your pupils dilated. Swimming is fine.

Having your pupils dilated at the ophthalmologist for your annual eye exam can be annoying. Fortunately, it doesn't last too long. The dilation makes you light sensitive, and your near vision is blurry for about an hour after the drops. It is a good idea to wait until your vision feels normal before you drive. Swimming is safe.

I usually tell patients the effects of the dilation will last 2–4 hours so they don't call back unnecessarily. It may be longer in patients with dark brown eyes.

Answered by: Anne Sumers, MD Dr. Anne Sumers

Categories: General Eye Health

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Answered: Jul 14, 2014

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