Anisocoria: Why Is One Of Your Pupils Significantly Bigger Than The Other?

Although the pupils of most people are equal in size, the pupils of some individuals can be larger or smaller than each other. This condition is called anisocoria. Anisocoria can be harmless, or it can be a symptom of an eye problem. It's important to find out why your pupils are unequal in size. Learn why one of your pupils is larger than the other with the information below.

What's Anisocoria and Is It Dangerous?

The pupils behave as tiny twin doors or windows to the outside world. Before light reaches the tissues in the back of your eyes, it must first enter and travel through your pupils. Your pupils constrict (grow smaller) when it's too bright and dilate (grow larger) when it's dim or shady. However, the pupils of some people stay constricted or dilated, which can make one pupil appear larger or smaller than the other pupil.

Most cases of anisocoria are harmless and barely noticeable. One pupil may be slightly or mildly smaller or larger than the other. But if one of your pupils is significantly larger or smaller than the other pupil, there may be a reason behind it.

Traumatic eye injuries are some of the possible causes of severe anisocoria. For example, someone may have poked you in the eye and caused your pupil to permanently dilate. Some health problems can cause pupils to dilate and remain dilated, including viruses and nervous system disorders.

Only an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) can determine the cause of your dilated eye. 

How Do You Treat Anisocoria?

An eye doctor will generally examine your eye with various eye tests. The tests can help rule out different things that may have caused your pupil to dilate, including viral infections and trauma. Once an eye doctor narrows down the cause of your anisocoria, they can begin treatment. 

Your treatment plan may include using eye drops to shrink your pupil down to its normal size. If you experienced headaches, eye pain, or other symptoms of anisocoria, an eye specialist may prescribe medications to control them.

Some people diagnosed with anisocoria may have other health conditions to treat during their care. These conditions may require medical intervention from a regular doctor. A regular doctor may work closely with an eye doctor to ensure that you regain full health overall. 

If you need additional answers about your large pupil or how to treat it, contact an ophthalomology specialist today.