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Eye and Vision Care

Right Eye Dilated



I am a 22 year old female and this morning I was coughing on the way in to work due to sinuses (weather changes down here...hot one day, freezing the next..) and when I stopped at the gas station I coughed again and my vision went blurry in my right eye, and it looked as if I was seeing a long vein in the right lower corner of my vision in that eye. I got back out to the car and checked my eye, seeing if it was bleeding or red--and my pupil was so dilated that you could barely see my iris, while in my left eye, my pupil was small like it should`ve been. It lasted for about half an hour.

I`m not on any drugs, didn`t and haven`t taken any medicines within even a month, and I got about 10 hours of sleep last night. I have panic and anxiety attacks but haven`t had an episode in about a month or two. So I was wondering what this could have been. I didn`t get a headache or anything, just blurred vision and that veiny thing along with the dilated pupil.

I was planning on calling out of work today to go to the eye doctor but when I got to work it had all gone away so I didn`t worry about it. Should I still make an appointment?

Thank you for your help


Yes, you should still see your eye doctor.

It sounds like you may have had transient blur and pupil dilation associated with a vaso-vagal reaction to coughing. If so, it is self-limiting and causes no permanent eye damage. But I can't be sure without examining you; and it may be something else more serious.

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Response by:

Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University