It usually takes 20 to 30 minutes for dilating eyedrops to begin working. People with light eye color (such as blue, green or hazel) are more sensitive and dilate faster than people with dark eye color (brown). With dilated pupils, you will be sensitive to light and you will find it difficult to focus on nearby objects. These effects can last for up to several hours, depending on the strength of the drop used and on each individual.
When you are going to have a dilated eye exam or procedure, you should bring sunglasses with you to minimize glare and light sensitivity when you leave your appointment. Dilating eyedrops cause a variable amount of blurry vision for an unpredictable length of time. Your eye doctor cannot tell you how much your vision will be affected and for exactly how long. Because driving safely may not be possible after having your eyes dilated, you should make arrangements to have someone drive you after your appointment.
If you have any questions before or after a dilated eye exam or procedure, be sure to speak with your eye doctor.