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My child has an eye exam at noon. Should I send her back to school with dilated eyes?   

Well, it depends—what does she have after lunch? If it is softball or gym outside, or taking a critical exam like PSATs, then probably not. If it is back to lectures and chemistry lab and a movie in history class, then, sure, go back to school!

Most children will have some difficulty with near vision for a few hours after dilation, and the sunlight might bother their eyes, but most children can easily go back to class after an eye exam. Sunglasses will help to reduce glare outside. 

One of my teenage patients agitated throughout her mid-morning eye exam about how long it was taking, and how she absolutely had to get back to school by 12:15. As they checked out, I said to her mom, "you must be so proud of her, that she is such a conscientious student and doesn't want to miss school." To which her mother raised an eyebrow and replied, "School? School?!? She doesn't want to miss lunch—and the social life of lunch!"

Answered by: Anne Sumers, MD Dr. Anne Sumers 

Categories: Children's Eye Health

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Answered: May 29, 2012

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