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September 19, 1977

Dilation of Pupil During Eye Examination

Author Affiliations

Canton, Ohio

JAMA. 1977;238(12):1249. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280130031009

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To the Editor.—  The importance of eye examinations and the information to be derived from them by ophthalmologists as well as nonophthalmologists (family practitioners, interests, pediatricians, and medical and surgical subspecialists) is well known and accepted without the need for discussion.To evaluate an eye adequately in and outside of the ophthalmologic office, it is often required to dilate the pupil. I recommend, as do many ophthalmologists, that pupils be dilated much more frequently than is apparently done.However, dilation is sometimes contraindicated. One situation is where a patient has narrow angles (often unsuspected by the physician) with a shallow anterior chamber and a predisposition to acute angle closure glaucoma. Unfortunately, one is often unaware of this predisposition to angle closure, although occasionally the patient may be aware of his inability to tolerate dilation. If not, the presence of a shallow anterior chamber should alert the physician to potential problems