What Causes Dilation of Pupil and How to Treatment it?

The pupils are the passageway of light in the eyes. When the light enters the pupils, it is perceived by light-sensitive cells on the rear of the eyes. When the pupil size increases, it is called pupil dilation. This happens when the iris, a muscle tissue surrounding the pupil, expands or constricts to modify the pupil size.

This then controls the amount of light entering the eyes.

Pupil Dilation Causes

  • Natural process: Normally, pupils would dilate when in dark place and it constricts when there is sufficient light. The dilation occurs to permit entrance of more light into the eyes to give a clear picture on what a person is looking at to the brain.

  • Result of drug use: Various illegal and regulated drugs can make the pupils dilate. Examples of these are hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and mushrooms, as well as other drugs like crystal meth, ecstasy, marijuana and cocaine. Anti-depressant medications also have pupil dilation side effects.

  • Effect of medication: Eye medication called mydriatics cause pupil dilation.

    This is often used prior to an eye examination to expand the pupils and observe their reaction to light. Because this dilates the eyes, a person may need to wear sunglasses for more than an hour following the test until the eyes become fully recovered. Dilated pupils in a well lit area collect more light which can potentially damage the eyes.

  • Excitement and arousal: When the nervous system is stimulated, it leads to involuntary dilation of the pupils.

  • Poisoning: Expansion of the pupils is a usual reaction when a person has taken in poisonous plants and chemicals. Some of these are jet fuel, chloroform, and the bark of black locust trees.

Pupil Dilation Treatment

  • The remedy for pupil dilation depends on the underlying cause, the person’s age, his medical history and his overall health condition.

  • To treat pupil dilation, it essentially entails dealing with the cause which may call for hospital admission and intensive treatment.

  • In serious cases, surgery is required to deal with the neurologic effects and intra-cranial pressure.

  • Other treatment options include rehabilitation, counseling, medication and other management to prevent injuries and further harm to one’s health. For example, when the cause is the use of marijuana or cocaine, restricting these helps treat the symptom of dilated pupils.

  • Though pupil dilation is most of the time a less serious condition, immediate diagnosis and treatment is essential. This is to determine the root cause because the causes can be more dangerous to one’s health.

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