Not everyone who presents themselves for an eye examination requires a dilated eye exam. Several factors determine whether you need a dilated eye exam. One factor is age, where older people should have these exams due to the risk of eye diseases. Race is also a factor as Hispanics and African Americans are at a greater risk of developing glaucoma. You will require a dilated eye exam if you have a history of eye problems, such as a retinal detachment. You may also undergo a dilated eye exam based on your symptoms.