Dilation involves the use of eye drops, which results in pupils being enlarged for about three to four hours. This allows the doctor to see the back of the much easier. Once the dilating drops take effect, the doctor uses special magnifying lenses that allow a clear view of the retina, macula, and optic nerve. Patients over 40 and with systemic illnesses are encouraged to be dilated. Patients who chose to be dilated should bring a driver. If you are unable to be dilated the day of the exam, you are welcome to do it at a later date.