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Eye and Vision Care

Right Eye Dilated

02/23/2011

Question:

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

Answer:

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.

For more information:

Go to the Eye and Vision Care health topic, where you can:

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