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Why Are My Eyes Dilated? Causes And When to See A Doctor

Why Are My Eyes Dilated, Brampton, ON

One of the most important parts of seeing properly is ensuring that the right amount of light enters the eye to allow for clear visual information to be captured and sent to the brain. Your eye naturally adjusts to let in more or less light by a process of dilating and constricting your pupils, the round, black circles located in the center of the iris (the colored part of the eye).

However, if this process gets disrupted, your eyes may not react properly to light, leaving your pupils dilated. This can be a sign of very serious eye or brain issues.

Here are some of the leading causes and conditions that may cause your eyes to stay dilated:

Side Effects From Medications or Drug Use

These include over-the-counter and prescription medications such as antihistamines, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants, as well as illicit drugs such as cocaine and LSD.

Injury To the Head or Eye

The most common injuries that affect the eyes and head ar those that occur as a result of sports injuries, work accidents or car crashes. These can cause bleeding that results in the eye remaining dilated or damage the neural pathways or muscles that control dilation and constriction of the eye.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions such as intracranial tumors, brain aneurysms, and stroke can damage the connection between the eyes and brain.

When Should You Call Our Brampton West Eye Care Clinic?

If you’re experiencing persistent or unexplained changes in pupil size, contact our Brampton West eye doctors immediately. This is especially important if these changes are sudden or recent or happen after an injury to the eye or the head.

If one or both of your eyes are dilated and you experience of the below symptoms, go to a hosptial immediately:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Fever
  • Loss of vision
  • Normal lighting hurts your eyes
  • Headache
  • Eye pain

Want to learn more about what causes your eyes to dilate, and how we can help prevent and treat these conditions? Contact our Brampton West optometrists at Westpoint Optical, or give us a call at 905-488-1626 today!


Why might my eye doctor dilate my eyes during an eye exam?

Certain diseases, such as glaucoma, show few if any signs or symptoms until they’ve already done significant damage to your eyes and vision. Dilating your eyes during a routine eye exam will allow your eye doctor to get a wider, more in-depth look at the inside of your eye to check for signs of these conditions before damage can be done.

How long will my eyes stay dilated after an eye exam?

The length of time your eyes stay dilated after your eye exam will vary from person to person, but usually falls in the range of somewhere between 4 and 24 hours. Lighter eyes react more quickly and strongly to dilating drops, and tend to take longer to return to normal than darker eyes.