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Eye and Vision Care

Dilation

12/22/2011

Question:

I had my eyes dialted today and only one is still somewhat dialated. is this normal?

Answer:

Several factors go into determining how long pupils remain dilated following an eye exam. The two main factors are the type of dilating drop(s) used, and how much of the dilating drop(s) got into the eye.
 
Several different types of drops are used for pupil dilation during eye exams. Some drops cause a dilation that lasts approximately 5 hours, others that lasts approximately 24 hours, and some that can last up to a week. It is not uncommon for a slightly larger dose of drops to get into one eye compared to the other, causing the dilation to last longer in the eye that received the higher amount of the drop (may be several hours longer, especially when longer-acting drops were used).

In most situations you will need to just "wait it out" until the pupils both return to normal size. However, if the dilated eye is also red or painful, then you should contact your eye doctor right away to report the finding.

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Response by:

Andrew J Toole, OD, PhD, FAAO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University