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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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what does it mean when youve had one dilated pupil

Resolved Question:

My husband woke up one morning and he couldn''t see out of his left eye. When he looked in the mirror to see what was wrong, his pupil was totally dilated to the point where you didn''t see the iris color. He placed his hand over his right eye (the only one with vision) and still couldn''t see anything. He later laid down and woke up to find that he had vision in his left eye but it was blood shot red. What could have caused that?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Is his pupil still dilated?

Can he move his eye normally (the left one) up, down, left, and right?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Mark's Post: It is no longer dilated and he can move it around.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Besides the eye, did he have anything else going on?

Such as numbness in the face, weakness in the face/eyelid?

Or have any recent injury to the eye, or possibly had anything placed in the eye (eyedrops)?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No numbness or weakness in the face but was hit by a car as a teenager and suffered a head injury. Have been in alot of fights throughout his lifetime.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Well, given that he seems to be doing fine now, the cause of this may remain a mystery.

Often times, the one sided pupil dilation (called "anisocoria") can be a sign of a life threatening condition -- but those people are usually unconscious with a dilated pupil.

Other times the pupil can be dilated from drops of eye medications, like those given at the optometrist's office.

Conditions like "Horner's syndrome" can also cause dilated pupils, as well as glaucoma, uveitis, or injury to the eye.

Because irritation of the blood vessel (carotid artery) on the same side as the eye, the nerve to the eye (oculomotor nerve), the eye itself, or inflammation of the iris itself can cause this, a complete evaluation is usually done when someone has a dilated pupil. Of course, now that it is gone and he is feeling fine, it may be difficult for doctors to find a cause. Of course, should it happen again, seeing a doctor would be helpful to find the cause.
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