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Troy Bedinghaus, O.D.

Dilation Side Effects

By June 14, 2009

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A question from the Vision Forum:
I had my eyes dilated in an exam, and about two hours later experienced nausea, shakiness and dizziness that came on very suddenly. It lasted for about an hour, then slowly went away over the next two hours. I have had my eyes dilated every year since I was ten (I'm 50) and have never had this happen before. Is this a possible side effect of the drug used to dilate?
Answer from the doctor:

Some patients can have a mild allergic reaction to dilating drops. Maybe the last doctor used a different type of drop, or this time your pupils were so dilated they became super light sensitive. At your next eye exam, ask your doctor to use a mild drop, as the last time you had a strong reaction.

Suggested Reading:

Comments
April 26, 2011 at 10:41 pm
(1) jessie says:

would there be any reason to not drink alcohol after an eye exam? not right after, but later in the evening. will the drops the doctor give and the alcohol make you sick if combined?

August 8, 2012 at 7:47 am
(2) Michelle Leigh says:

I had my eyes dilated yesterday at 2:00 and now, over 18 hours later, they are just as dilated as they were yesterday. Is this normal? I am having a VERY hard time working, as I work on a computer all day. What can I do about this? I am getting a headaches again, as my eyes are blurring and sensitive to light. The headache went away last night, only after closing my eyes and going to sleep. When I woke up this morning, I was very shocked, to say the least, to see my eyes the same way they were yesterday. Any advice on this? My eyes are green and I hear the lighter your eyes, the longer they remain dilated, but I am thinking even for this, 18 + hours is a bit much?!

April 14, 2013 at 8:47 pm
(3) J says:

Dilation done three days ago. Blurriness has continued. Will report it, but plan to be told, “No one else has ever had that problem.”

July 28, 2013 at 10:46 am
(4) Galen Morrison says:

Annual eye examination yesterday morning with dilation in both eyes, experienced headache, dizziness, extreme fatigue (napped from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm) very unusual. Slept normally last night. Anyone else experience the same symptoms?

October 31, 2013 at 8:40 pm
(5) Dianne says:

Yesterday I had my eyes dilated .I left the office and immediately felt funny. I stopped at a red light, my head went back as if I had passed out. I came to and proceeded to my destination but was driving erratically. I was disoriented and could not comprehend what was happening. Fell asleep there for an hour. Drove home (35 min) but had little memory of driving. Went to bed and slept until the next morning remembering only that my husband sat me up to feed me. My head was hurting terribly and still is. I am still light headed 31 hours later. A call to the eye doctor resulted in a claim that they had never heard of any adverse reactions yet on the internet I have found many sites that claim otherwise. I have never seen any information in the doctors office that warns of this.

February 20, 2014 at 2:44 am
(6) Sarah says:

I’ve also had a similar reaction to what has been mentioned above.

Had a dilation test around 2.30pm, getting close to 7pm feel VERY lightheaded, dizzy, disoriented and extremely fatigued.

Wish that my optometrist had properly informed me of the (at least potential) side-effects of such a test in advance.

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