How to Explain the Importance of Dilation to Your Patients
When it comes to eye examinations, eye doctors understand the importance of the procedure. However, some patients find the effects of dilation inconvenient or just don’t understand why it needs to be done in the first place. We need to ALWAYS take off our doctor’s coat and remember that our patients don’t know all the medical jargon like we do. Here are our tips to help you educate your eyecare patients on the importance of dilation and what it means for their overall health.
The Effects of Dilation: The Numbers
Dilation can have a temporary but big impact on your patient’s vision. In fact, a study was done to score discomfort and vision impairment post-dilation and found that all participants rated their discomfort post-dilation at a 3 or higher on a scale of 1 to 5. The majority of those participants, 59 out of the 100, scored their discomfort at a 4 and 27 of them at a level of 5. The study also found that the majority of visual impairment (visual acuity of less than or equal to 20/50) happened when they were outside without sunglasses or post-mydriatic glasses.
How to Explain What Dilation Is
The numbers in this study make sense to us, right? But, for patients, they don’t fully understand. For new patients or patients that have never had their pupils dilated before, it is a good idea to explain what the process is and the effect it may have. In fact, if you believe that dilation is most likely necessary for the appointment, you might tell your patient when confirming their appointment to have someone drive them to and from the appointment.
Begin by telling your patient that you will be using special eye drops to dilate their pupils. Explain that they will experience some blurry vision and light sensitivity for the next few hours, which will affect their ability to drive and may affect their ability to work.
Also explain that many factors go into whether eye dilation is necessary. Let your patients know what those factors are, such as age, ethnic background and overall health, so they can better understand why they may be receiving this procedure for their eye examination.
How to Explain the Importance of Dilation
When it comes to the importance of the procedure, let your patients know that the reason for dilating their pupils is to allow you a better look at the back of their eye. Explain that getting a better view is crucial to diagnosing common diseases and conditions at their earliest stages, when it is easier to treat such conditions. Remind them that eye health is also an indicator of their overall health as many conditions that largely affect other parts of the body can also affect the eyes. Being able to discern their eye health can help them manage their overall health. Be sure to let them know that these diseases and conditions include:
- High Blood Pressure
- Macular Degeneration
- Retinal Detachment
What Dilations Means for You as a Provider
While dilation can have a temporary impact on your patients, it can also have an impact on the provider as well. What you may not know is that a doctor could be held liable if their patient gets into an accident after having their eyes dilated. Fortunately, the study, mentioned above, found that 88% of participants received relief from the effects of dilation when wearing sunglasses. This is why it is important to help your patient’s post-procedure with the side effects of dilation–not only to keep them safe, but to protect you from liability as well.
Helping with the Side Effects of Dilation
Let your patients know that there is a way to help them deal with the light sensitivity that happens for a few hours after the procedure. While wearing sunglasses may help them some, they only reduce light transmission to 13.2%. However, Rollens reduces light transmission to 6%, offering more effective and greater relief and safety to patients. Our one-time use wraparound glasses are ideal because they fit snugly to the face and protect the eyes better from light than regular sunglasses.
Helping with the Side Effects of Dilation
Let your patients know that there is a way to help them deal with the light sensitivity that happens for a few hours after the procedure. Give them Rollens to help protect their eyes from light sensitivity. These one-time use wraparound glasses are ideal because they fit snugly to the face and protect the eyes better from light than regular sunglasses.
When discussing dilation with your patients, remember to arm them with as much information as possible. Giving them more information not only means a more well-informed patient, but it also helps them feel more in control of their care. Be sure that you allow plenty of time to answer any questions or concerns they have about dilation and then to answer those questions openly and honestly.