Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


One Eye Dilated

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:28 am

I’ve been trying out new contacts. They are soft contacts and I’ve had just as a difficult time adjusting to them as I have the gas permeable contacts I have lived with for the last five or six years.

All day on Tuesday, my left eye was feeling goopy and itchy. I used the allergy drops a couple of times, but it didn’t help. I know I’m not supposed to use the allergy drops when I’m wearing contacts, but I did anyway. I’m random that way. You never know what kind of crazy stuff I’m going to do. Tomorrow I just might wash the lights with the darks. You never know.

Anyway, my eye was bothering me so much that I just took out the contacts. When I did, I got a bad surprise. My left eye was massively dilated. This is a picture of it hours later when it was BETTER.

One Eye Dilated by Michael Moncur 06-19-07

After much panic and Googling, we ruled out stroke and brain tumor. Turns out the allergy drops can dilate your eyes. Neither of us had ever noticed that side effect because we usually use it in both eyes.

Michael is the best Google Doctor ever!

Update 12-13-2011: I received this email today:

On Dec 13, 2011, at 8:43 AM, Janice VanCleave wrote:

Sent via the form at lauramoncur.org


I write science books for kids and have a science website. Will you give me permission to use your picture showing one eye dilated on my website?

Also, are the allergy drops generic? I am wondering if the drops cause the eye to dilate without the contacts. Does the medication affect the contacts? I am trying to figure out why wearing the contacts is a factor. Doesn’t the eye fluid constantly flow under the contact?


You are welcome to use this photo for your books as long as you include this caption:

Photo via Laura Moncur at http://laura.moncur.org/archives/2007/06/21/one-eye-dilated/

The caption must be by the picture, not buried in a photo index or acknowledgements. As long as your publisher can accommodate that, you can use the photo for free. If you wish to use it online, you must include the same caption AND link to my site. I make my living writing on the Internet, so links and proper acknowledgement are the only way I get paid.

The drops that I used were Opcon-A (Naphazoline and Pheniramine). Here is the link for the WebMD site:


I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know about WHY it causes dilation, but the precautions list blurred vision, so I suspect it affects people who use it without contacts as well.

Best of luck,

Laura Moncur



  1. Thankyou so much for writing this blog! Yes, I too used the allergy relief eyedrops with contacts and had the same reaction- my L pupil dialated and my right not even matching up to it in size. I about freaked after googling and reading all the possibilites: tumors, strokes, glaucoma, etc… Then I came across your blog and now I am laughing about the whole thing. Thanks again!

    Comment by charla — 7/19/2007 @ 5:46 am

  2. holy cow, i am so glad i found this site. I had something in my eye, and with nothing else to grab i used alergy drops to rinse off my contact. Later that day my son said, woah mom what’s with your eye. lol. I wonder how many people thought that same thing that afternoon. it is still dialated now, hopefully it will be better tomorrow now that i am wearing my glasses.

    Comment by twz — 11/18/2007 @ 4:50 pm

  3. The same thing is happening to me right now. My right eye has been dialated for about 3 days though and it hurts. It started with irriation and some redness in my eye, which I figured came from my contacts. I put Clear Eye Maximum Redness relief in my eyes about 7 times within a morning ! And used it while my contacts were in. Soon I saw my one pupil was extremely dialated I went to an optomitrist who said my eye has scratches on it, probably from the contacts and also that a certain muscle was inflamed and was causing the dialation. She gave me two prescription drops- one is a steriod and one is to dialate the eye. I don’t know why she wanted to dialate it more, but I’m supposed to use it twice a day. I used the drops once yesterday and not since. Now 24 hours later my eye remains extremely dialated. I am not going to use the drops that dialate my eye more, only the steroid drops the dr gave me. I’m going to see a regular physician soon. I hope it’s nothing serious and that it’s like your other stories here. How long did your pupil stay dialated?

    Comment by Julie — 1/27/2008 @ 12:15 am

  4. Julie,

    My eye was only dilated for a few hours. If you don’t want to follow your optometrist’s advice, you should visit another optometrist or an ophthalmologist. I wouldn’t recommend ceasing your medication without your doctor’s consent.

    Our eyes are pretty damn important, so do everything your doctor says.

    Best wishes,
    Laura Moncur

    Comment by Laura Moncur — 1/27/2008 @ 9:40 am

  5. DEAR GOD,

    Am I glad I came across this… So I’m in LONDON, although from San Francisco, and I FREAK out cause as I’m putting in my contacts, I feel irritation, drop in some allergy eye drop in my left eye, not really paying attention to what I’ve done — MY LEFT EYE DILATES LIKE CRAZY, so I rush to the DOCTOR (National Health care is not the most timely, but cost effective systems) who has no idea what it could be. Then I rush home, before going to a specialist, calmly think through what I did that could have gotten in my eye. I READ THIS BLOG, and then read carefully to see the allergy eye med I recall dropping in there.

    MORAL AND LESSON TO SELF: Pay attention to what you put in your eye. Jesus, did I learn that lesson!

    It is still dilated and sore, so it could be something else, but I am 90% that it was caused by my negligence. I love my eyes. It would be a shame if I ruined my best feature!

    Thanks again for putting this up!


    PS Here is a link to my crazy eye: http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b239/xelaaalex/IMG_2202.jpg

    Comment by Alex — 1/28/2008 @ 3:16 pm

  6. Hi there, I was just speaking to my pharmacist about my left pupil being dilated and he said I should go to the doctor right away. I mentioned that I thought it might have been caused by me using the eye drops too often, as my eye was so blurry, I couldn’t function properly. Anyway, he thought that had nothing to do with it. I am so glad I found your blog, thank you. My eye is still blurry, burning a bit (but i suppose that is from the constant rubbing), but my pupils seem normal again (after about 12 hours). Thanks again

    Comment by Juanita — 2/10/2008 @ 10:21 pm

  7. nice job….with the picture….i went to er cause i thought something wird was going on in my right eye…silly dilating….they did a cat scan just to be sure…then sent me home…good thing i read about the allergy drops…which i forgot i had used to get a stuck contact unstuck from a dry corner of my eye…

    thanks chris

    Comment by chris — 2/20/2008 @ 4:02 am

  8. Man what a relief to hear that im not alone on this crazy matter… I must say i did the same as everyone else my eyes hurt so what else to do , put allergy drops in both eyes and when i got home my boyfriend freaked out and i did to after looking @ myself ….What a scary thing my left eye is so dilated i thought i wld take my contacts out and rest my eyes is hasnt wrked yet 6hrs of looking like a freak ,but al least i know im not alone …What a good thing you did by putting this blog. for people thanks

    Comment by leslie — 3/8/2008 @ 5:32 pm

  9. Just thought you might want to know….once the allergy drops or any other drops, for instance, dialation drops are in/on your contacts every time you put your contacts back in your eye, it will dilate again,(the contacts absorb the meds.) I don’t know if it is possible to rinse it out. That is why the eye doctor tells us not to use drops, other than those recommended, with our contacts. But we are all human and we live and learn.:)

    BTW, my husband once accidently squirted nose/allergy spray in his eye, without his contact in it, and it dialated and stayed that way for hours.

    Comment by Pam — 4/11/2008 @ 6:30 pm

  10. thank you for this just one question how long does this last?

    Comment by ashleigh — 6/3/2008 @ 10:40 pm

  11. what a relief to find this site! this morning my contacts were bugging me like crazy. i finally figured out i had switched my contacts (diff prescriptions in each eye). my left eye still bugged me so i took it out and rinsed it with allergy drops – only thing i had. my left eye burned a bit after putting the contact back in, but was better than before. then my eye started watering really bad. when i went to check that my mascara hadnt run, i got a big shock – my left pupil was so dilated there was no ring of color. the pic the girl posted above was exactly how my eyes looked. i called my doctor and she sent me to the ER right away. fastest visit i ever had at an ER! i had a cat scan fifteen minutes after i got there. they didnt find anything wrong with my head. but apparently its something in allergy drops that reacts with the contact to make your pupil dilate. probably why the bottle says in red print ‘dont use with contacts’

    Comment by jenjen — 6/12/2008 @ 2:44 pm

  12. Two MRIs, an opthamologist and a neurologist later, I finally find my answer here. Everyone thought I had some crazy kind of migraine. Believe it or not, I had even mentioned to every doctor that I had used eye drops in my contact before it happened, but no one caught it. You have no idea how relieved I am to know that all I have to do is throw away those stupid eye drops!! I did so many internet searches when it happened, I just wish I had found this earlier.

    Comment by michelle — 8/14/2008 @ 9:43 pm

  13. This blog is very interesting. I am a optometry student currently worknig at an optometry practive as an assistant. It is very important not to use any prescription eye medications while wearing your contacts. A contact lens is porous much like a sponge and will absord anything you attept to flush it with. Even allergy or dry eye drops are not to be used. If you are not sure call your eye care practice.(Often times you may use them but must remove your contacts lenses prior to use and not re-insert for 30mins or longer). When searching for eye drops to use with contacts you do have many options. The key is to make sure there are no preservatives. A good rule of thumb is buy lubricating drops that say FOR USE WITH CONTACTS on the label.

    Also, PLEASE inform your eye doctor of any ocular medications/drops including those for allergies that you may use, especially when coming in for a scenario such as this.

    Comment by Dave M — 8/20/2008 @ 1:18 pm

  14. Wow, I sure hope this is what’s wrong with me. I just used eye drops in one eye that was itching like crazy. I looked in the mirror and freaked out!!!

    Comment by Kelly — 8/20/2008 @ 4:38 pm

  15. OMG. I wondered if it were the allergy eye drops I used this morning. I woke up with a swollen left eye and looking for relief from the sting and itch I went for allergy drops. My husband uses them all the time for his allergies so I didn’t see the harm. I did only put them in my left eye. Within 1/2 hr my left pupil was fully dialated and my right was the size of a pin. I was very dizzy and concerned so I laid dowm for a bit. I a sleeping mask over my eyes to wake and hour later and it was still the same.

    I went on with my day and it did get better as time went on. When I got home, just to see, I put the drops in my eye again and yep…huge within minutes. I am still going to the doctor because I’m not sure what has caused the swelling but I’m not as concerned about the dialation.

    Comment by Robyn — 9/1/2008 @ 7:06 pm

  16. Oh my god, thank you ….you saved me a trip …..thanks for posting

    Comment by c — 9/20/2008 @ 3:21 pm

  17. Boy am i happy to see this blog!!!!

    i wear contacts just like the rest of you guys, and i always!!! use VISINE-A (allergy relieft) eye drops. recently my eyes have been bugging out on me, first it was the left, weeks later it was the right and each dilation followed by a migraine. im a third grade teacher and u can just imagine my student reactions when they seen my “big eye” and little eye as they called it lol. reading this blog put a little ease on me. and i will most defff throw those allergy drops away!

    Comment by Yelena — 10/21/2008 @ 9:34 am

  18. I am so relieved that I found this blog. The same thing happened to me today. I wear contacts and thought I grabbed my saline/rewetting drops but accidently took Visine-A to work with me. The bottles are the same size and look almost identical. My contacts usually bother me throughout the day so I have to use drops…well when I got home and looked in the mirror, you could hardly see any color in my right eye my pupil was so dialated. I was freaking out calling urgent care and my eye doctor… I am just glad I figured out what it was caused from! Now I just wish my headache would go away…

    Comment by Courtney — 10/24/2008 @ 1:22 pm

  19. How long does this last? I’ve had my right eye dilated for about…8 hours! maybe more! And it hasn’t gone away. Should I worry?

    Comment by Jill — 10/26/2008 @ 4:50 pm

  20. my right eye has been dilated for 8 years. they told me it was tonic eye. i never used eye drops or anything. i wear reading glassed only. my eye dilates very slow compared to the other. it hurts real bad it i am in front of computer to long?

    Comment by lee — 12/3/2008 @ 7:05 pm

  21. Thanks for this blog. I didn’t have any solution so i used Visine A. Same thing right? Wrong! Its been 3 hrs, and dilation has gone down a little. I’ll post tomorrow if it’s not gone in the morning.

    Comment by brysson — 12/27/2008 @ 12:13 am

  22. Thank you…I did the same thing as the rest of you while at work. I totally freaked out my coworker and myself when I looked in a mirror…it has been 6 hours and I am still wild eyed…hope it goes away by morning. I will also change contacts in the morning….again…thanks for the blog.

    Comment by Debbie — 1/5/2009 @ 6:58 pm

  23. Thank you for putting this out there for everyone else. My sister’s eye just did this, no one knew what happened and she scheduled an appt. with a physician. Thankfully this was here and, only upon me asking if she had used allergy drops, she remembered that she did indeed.

    Comment by Sam — 1/29/2009 @ 1:22 pm

  24. I’m a PA, & encountered this with a patient not long ago. Same history with using visine & contacts. We flushed the eye (without the contacts in) with a small amount of plain “artificial tears” & the pupil returned to the approximate size of the opposite eye within 30 min. The intention was to counteract the visine absorption into the eye by flushing with the saline. Seemed to work, so worth a try in my opinion.

    Comment by srm — 2/14/2009 @ 7:32 pm

  25. Thank you for the info. I too grabbed an allergy eye drop instead of rewetting drops. My eye has been dialted for 6 hours. I fear it is going to be stuck this way! I am going to try the suggestion #24 and flush it with artificial tears. Thanks!

    Comment by Lbl — 2/21/2009 @ 8:28 pm

  26. I had the same experience yesterday after using allergy drops. I used the drops in place of saline solution to rinse my contact becasue that’s what I had with me. I had no idea the drops would cause my eye to dialate. There is one thing that caught my attention on this site. It seems to be the left eye that responds to drops in this manner versus the right eye or both. Is there a reason the left eye would dialate and not the right?

    Comment by Alli — 3/4/2009 @ 7:49 am

  27. Same thing just happened to me – allergy eye drops! I was like why is only one eye dialated?!?!?!

    Thank you for posting this, I was freaking out.

    Comment by caitlin — 3/5/2009 @ 3:18 pm

  28. OMG…thank you so much for this blog site…at work, and used eye drops…my partner noticed my LEFT PUPIL incredible dialated. Called my doc (still waiting for a callback) and then googled stroke, tumor, bleed, etc. then just typed in “one eye dialated” and this popped up. ISN’T THE WEB AMAZING???? THKS.

    Comment by jan — 3/12/2009 @ 3:24 pm

  29. I am laughing my guts out right now. I had the same thing happen to me. I’ve been using these stupid allergy drops as rewetting drops for about three weeks now. Wow! Is my right eye dilated. I look like a freak! And has it ever messed up my vision in my right eye. I too am glad to see I am not the only moron out there who fails to read warning labels. “Hey, this stuff is wet and goes in your eye. Why don’t I just use this in stead of what I should. I bet it won’t matter!”

    Comment by mark — 3/13/2009 @ 11:59 am

  30. THANK YOU for saving me thousands of dollars and an ER visit. I used Visine-A 3 times today in my right eye only. Most of the Google results talked about the seriousness of this condition – I was scared to death! Now, I know it was just the drops! Thanks again.

    Comment by Alana — 3/15/2009 @ 5:37 pm

  31. I have done this exact same thing twice. The 1st time was a month ago. My left eye was very dry & red. I had to get to school though so I just put my contacts in. At school I found my eye allergy drops and used them. Within 5 minutes I looked in a mirror and my eye just had huge pupil. I went to the nurse then my mom took me to the optomitrist. I ended up having a chemical reaction with the contact & visine. I also had an eye infection which I got meds for. That time my eye stayed dialated for around 2 days. This time I woke up to a red and goopy left eye. I put in the same drops (which are now in the trash) and got dressed. 15 mins later I put my contacts in. While applying makeup I saw my left eye was dialating. I took my contacts out and rinsed them with water and contact solution. Then rinsed my eye with water and rewetting drops for 2 mins. 15 minutes later my eye is normal yet still red. I’m staying home. My arms are sore from using crutches cause I sprained my ankle. It all works out though:) thanks!!

    Comment by Angie — 4/16/2009 @ 9:56 am

  32. I woke up Friday morning with some of that awful goop in my eye that one gets with pink eye so I reached in my medicine cabinet and grabbed what I though were my medicated drops and put one drop in my left eye and put my glasses on. About 30 min later I was unable to see clearly out of my left eye. I discovered that I’d grabbed a prescription drop that dilated my pupil. After much internet searching, I’ve learned that this drop paralyzes the eye. One site said it would wear off after 24 hrs so I waited. Unfortunately, it’s now Sunday night and I’m no better. Another site said some drops last for 2 weeks. I’m a basket case right now and I look freakish.

    Comment by Rachel — 4/19/2009 @ 3:07 pm

  33. Thank goodness for this website and the posts.

    I just got out of the swimming pool and had my contacts in. My eyes were red and bothering me so I grabbed “allergy drops” and put it in both eyes. After awhile I took my contacts out and put my glasses on and I was having a hard time seeing. Really wierd. So I kept cleaning my glasses. I then looked in the mirror and both pupils were huge! It scared me to death. I thought maybe I needed to go to the emergency room but I felt ok otherwise. Immediately I typed my problem into Google and this website popped up. I’ve never heard anything like this with the allergy drops and contacts. I don’t wear them often but I know now to not use anything but eye drops for contacts. Hard lesson learned. I wonder how long they will stay this way? If it’s for awhile I will go see my doctor. Thanks everyone for the posts.

    Comment by Sherri — 6/16/2009 @ 12:22 pm

  34. The same thing happened to me over the weekend. I applied the drops only to my right eye and was checking my eye in the visor mirror while my husband drove and I freaked out. I was a little more worried though because I had been to the hair dresser the day before and I have been warned that sometimes the pressure on the base of the neck from the shampoo bowl at salons can cause a stroke and 1 pupil to dilate. After it went away on it’s own in a few hours, and also researching the shampoo bowl warnings, I am satisfied the allergy drops were the culprit. I will be following up with my doctor to be sure, but the fact that the eye returned to normal is a good sign. Does only one now if this only happens with contacts in? I wear lenses, but I wonder if this happens to those not wearing contacts, or if that has something to do with this strange side effect. Thanks.

    Comment by Melissa S. — 7/6/2009 @ 10:05 am

  35. THANK YOU EVERYONE! I have been putting allergy drops in my lft eye all afternoon because i was too stubborn to take my contacts out. I finally just caved in and took them out to add more of the drops and wham-o! My pupil is HUGE!!! Of course I thought I was dying until I read all of your posts. I can’t thank you enough!!!

    Comment by Mattie — 7/13/2009 @ 5:33 pm

  36. I have extremley bad allergies and. My eye itch and swell all the time nobig deal right. I have a proscription eye drop but was out, with my eyes buring and itch I grabbed a cheap allergy eye drop out of my cabinet and dropped a bunch in my left eye. Of course it burnt but started to feel better. 30mins later I went to shower and noticed my left eye had no color and was complete pupil. Almost passing out at the sink I grabbed for my iPhone and google one eye dilated with eye drops and found you. I ging to sleep it off hope it better tomorrow but sure saved me money from running to the er at 200 in th morning. Thanks blog site.

    Comment by Sara — 7/15/2009 @ 12:44 am

  37. Hi everyone so here is my problem I don’t wear contacts but I do use lenses,but for the past week I’ve been using Visine A due to bad allergies, here in FL the weather has become crazy and my allergies too. Today I woke up and my eye was sore probably because I’ve been rubbing my eye really hard, due to itchiness, my right pupil is dilated and I freak out, but I was wondering if the abuse of eye drops could cause this problem. Anyone …. should i go and see a doc ?

    Comment by Traci — 8/2/2009 @ 2:00 pm

  38. Same thing happened to my daughter. ONe night she came to me and showed my her dilated right pupil. I got so scared and asked if she hit her head. SHe said no and showed my the bottle of visine A allery drops that she was putting in her right eye on and off for two hours. I think she overdosed her eye, Took her first to pediatrician who took the bottle and looked on the visine website, pupil enlargement a side effect. SHe threw out the bottle and told us to use only saline drops. My daughter does not wear contacts.

    Comment by Linda — 8/2/2009 @ 3:23 pm

  39. Well ive used the allergy eye drops in both my eyes and still only my left eye pupil is bigger…

    Comment by Brooke — 8/9/2009 @ 8:47 pm

  40. I’m glad you blogged this! I do not wear contacts, but was VERY tired with sand in my eyes this a.m. I rummaged around for my allergy eye drops that I use VERY infrequently. Once I got to work and did the final “check” for the day in the mirror my heart just about leapt out of my chest when I saw one of my pupils was MUCH larger than the other. I had a feeling it would be due to the drops as that was the only change in my routine this morning, also I put more drops in the eye that is largely dialated. It’s hard not to think of the worst possible thing in a case like this and after reading your blog and the comments I realize it is a SADLY common occurence! However, I am much relieved! Thank you.

    Comment by Megan — 9/30/2009 @ 7:01 am

  41. Yea, I freaked out also I started checking all different web sites to see what was happening to me, my son kept telling me go to the hospital ( Iam glad I didn’t)I used allergy drops before and this never happen to me. So yea thanks for this site I wish I would have found this first. Thnak-you

    Comment by Cathy — 10/18/2009 @ 7:24 pm

  42. I think it’s great that this offers people an idea of what might be the cause of a single pupil being dilated. HOWEVER: It is so important not to self-diagnose and just convince yourself everything will be fine. My boss had to go to the ER yesterday because this happened. Someone at work actually mentioned eye drops might be the cause (he had put some in the day before), but we found out today he had a stroke. Luckily it was extremely mild BUT no one should simply assume anything about their own condition based on the experiences of other people, esp. with something like this.

    Comment by Katie — 10/19/2009 @ 8:56 pm

  43. This just happened to me today, and I too totally freaked. I used Visine-A in my left eye with my contact in. After about 4 hours, the pupil is practically back to normal. However, to be on the safe side, I just took out my contacts and used artifical tears as suggesed by #24.

    Comment by robin — 10/29/2009 @ 6:35 pm

  44. i stored my left contact in Clear eyes solution b/c i ran out of normal saline –> put on this morning – WOW! you get the idea –> six hours later –> still dialted, waiting for releif lol ;-)

    Comment by olgie — 3/22/2010 @ 5:24 pm

  45. I wear contacts and I have problems with them and my eyes getting dry. I notice my right eye was getting dry and blurry. I had no contact solution with me and all my mother had was allergy eye drops, so I tried some and the blurryness decreased a little but it was still dry and bugging me. I went home and took my contacts out and looked at my eye and it was fully dialated! it freaked me out so much that I called the hospital and they told me I was having a reaction to the eye drops with my contacts because my contacts soaked up the eye drops. My eye has been dialated for almost 15 hours but it has gone down halfway!

    Thanks for posting this so people dont freak out like I did lol.

    Comment by Breanna — 4/3/2010 @ 5:48 pm

  46. Thank you for posting this because this just happened to me! I looked like a freak because my eyes are light (green) so you could really see the difference in the size of my pupils. My husband said I could be a “V” (like the TV show…) Good to know I will live and I will save $ by not going to the Dr. …I went ahead and put allergy drops in my other eye in hopes to even them out. Thanks again..

    Comment by Wendie — 5/25/2010 @ 7:42 am

  47. This happened to me, and I was completely panicking. Thanks so much for posting this. I thought there was something wrong with my eye.

    Comment by Hopey — 8/10/2010 @ 7:46 pm

  48. Oh My Lord, I did the same thing, but with both eyes, My soft blue contacts were killing me, so i used napchon eye drops, now my right eye pupil is really big, after i read this, i was washed over in relief. But, my right eye is still dilating. I wonder if it’s still safe to still use my contacts.

    Comment by Jackie — 9/15/2010 @ 9:14 pm

  49. Thank you! Same happened to me too! Went to urgent care and the Dr. said there is an ingredient that can cause your eye to dialate. Very scary though when it happens. Wondering how long it will take to go away.

    Comment by diane — 10/1/2010 @ 11:10 pm

  50. Hello everyone. I just had the same experience. I was at work and my contact was bothering me so I used Clear Eyes (Redness Relief) to put my left contact back in my eye. A couple hours later I noticed it was sensitive and when I went to the bathroom I saw that the left pupil was dilated much bigger then the right. I FREAKED OUT… I googled and found that I could be dying! Until I found this sight and realized it was the eye drops. I also saw on a google sight that commercial drops that have REDNESS RELIEF can cause your pupils to dialate. I guess you just never realize this when you put it in both eyes! Thanks for making me feel better!!!!

    Comment by Jessica — 10/21/2010 @ 11:13 am

  51. Whew….thank u..Did the same thing. Got new contacts and my eyes were irritated so I put some drops in. When I take the contacts out my right eye was dilated. Googled it and freaked myself out. Found ure post and am breathing a sigh of relief.

    Comment by Jut — 10/26/2010 @ 5:28 pm

  52. Bless the person that started this Website!! Same story as all the other posts! Itchy eye + contact + allergy eye drops = huge dilated eye ball!! Yikes!!

    Comment by Chery — 12/5/2010 @ 9:25 pm

  53. I am thanking God right now that I found this site. And you for creating this post. When I went to the bathroom a couple hours ago and saw that my right eye was dilated and my left was normal, I pretty much freaked out. But, like you, I put in eye drops in just my right eye while wearing contacts. I immediately researched it and assumed I had a tumor or brain aneurysm. It’s safe to say I was preparing for my death. But, you’ve made me feel so much better. Case in point, do NOT research symptoms on the internet because you will definitely think you’re going to die within the next 24 hours. Thanks for this again! I only hope the dilated eye goes down soon.

    Comment by Ashley — 12/23/2010 @ 1:22 pm

  54. Thank goodness for this post! I was really upset this morning when I saw my right eye dilated and my left normal. After reading this, I realized that I used nose spray last night and it must have somehow found its way to my eye. My eye is back to normal now. It took about 6 hours. I also used some natural tears to help wash it away.

    Comment by Teresa — 1/16/2011 @ 3:15 pm

  55. Yeeesh, I completely freaked myself out last night. I think I’m dealing with allergies but used my vasine eye drops in my right eye a couple more times than my left and saw uneven dialation. I thought it was an allergic reaction or something. Though I did sleep it off last night. My right eye seems sore, but looks better. Thanks for the posting.

    Comment by Rebecca — 4/2/2011 @ 11:41 am

  56. THANKS!

    Same story as everyone else here! Wow was I freaked out…. Allergy drops in one eye with contacts in does not work!!

    Comment by Grant — 4/21/2011 @ 9:15 pm

  57. thanks for the info. Same story as everyone else

    Comment by djschuby — 6/13/2011 @ 9:56 pm

  58. Thank you! You saved me a trip to the ER. My left pupil dilated after using Visine A.

    Comment by tew — 7/5/2011 @ 3:10 pm

  59. Hi, I am so glad I discovered this web page! I was just in my bathroom and discovered that my left pupil was very dialated in comparison to my right pupil!!! How bizzare… It has now gone back to normal. It did not last that long, well I only discovered this about five minutes ago. I wear contacts myself and have been placing Refesh and Compleate drops in my eyes over the last few days but I have never had this problem before….. These drops are safe to be used whilst the contact is on the eye. If it is a case of the drops in my case, then why would the pupil dialate whilst the contact lens is in the eye. I need more clarity here…… Hmmm I did have a severe migrane not too long ago and ended up in E.R, they did search for signs of stroke but the findings were ok. The Radiologist should have given me a scan. Anyhow I will get back to you guys and let you know the outcome. Ciao love Lauren.

    Comment by Lauren — 8/26/2011 @ 10:11 am

  60. Yeah…I’m with you all on this one. As I was driving in to work this morning, my right contact fell out. I pulled over and used what I had in my bag, Visine A, to re-wet and put it back in. I continued on to work and took a look in the rear view…Whoa buddy! When I got to work, I called and made an eye doc appt. Then, I googled and saw that it was due to the eye drops, so I called back and cancelled. (Save a little money on something that ended up being “my bad”) I’ve been calling it Cartoon Eye. My right pupil is huge! It’s almost funny bringing it to everyone’s attention as they’re talking to me. Freaky. Reading all of these comments helps quiet my inner anxiety. Thanks!

    However, Lauren above me, yours sounds like it has nothing to do with the eyedrops. Your eyedrops weren’t medicated and you had a pre-existing condition. It’s been a few days since you posted. I really hope you’ve seen someone because that sounds scary.

    Comment by Chelsea — 9/1/2011 @ 12:30 pm

  61. Yup this happened to me today! I had everyone freaking out because it was a first for all of us.. Yes I used allergy eye drops in that eye because could find anything else to refresh my contact with.. Woa at was this morning at 9:30 it is still slightly dilated more then the other eye and it is 6 pm… So I will not panick any further thank you sooo much for your article

    Comment by teneeshia — 9/1/2011 @ 4:22 pm

  62. Thank you for the answer i was looking for!! I just used allergy drops in one eye (with contact in) and went to a hot yoga class. I noticed my eye was majorly dilated and thought it was heat stroke or dehydration. I’ll keep an eye (no pun!) on it, but i have a feeling its the drops.

    Comment by christine — 9/20/2011 @ 10:38 am

  63. So glad I found this sight!!!! Just got contacts yesterday, Left one was bothering me so I done what yall done and oh yes the left one is way big…Thanks for the info…I threw my contacts away..so looks like another trip to the eye doctor to get new ones…Lol

    Comment by Christina — 9/29/2011 @ 11:14 am

  64. TO THOSE OF YOU WHO DONT WEAR CONTACTS. I’m 16 and the night before I rubbed the hell out of my itchy eye. So I used eye drops when I went to sleep and when I woke up. I happen to not wear contacts and my right eye was dilated. Thank god I found this cause my mom was going to call the doctor. :P id rather not spend money so a doctor can tell me to go home and wait it out.

    Comment by kimmee — 10/17/2011 @ 7:27 am

  65. Thank you so much for posting this! I’ll have to second all of your comments!

    Comment by Kathy — 11/3/2011 @ 11:14 pm

  66. THANK YOU for posting all this info! I had the contact, using allergy drops b/c I didn’t have contact solution with me issue. My cousin who is a nurse noticed it & told me to go to the ER! Glad I came across this very informative blog! My eye has been dialated for 3 hours & I’ve flushed it out with sailene solution & it’s still big, so I’ll just wait it out….but NOT at the ER :))

    Comment by Sara — 11/6/2011 @ 7:02 pm

  67. Well just like everyone else I have to say thanks to everyone for their posts. My 18 year old son had a similar experience with a very itchy eye and thought he had a grain of sand or something in his eye. (Does not wear contacts) We didn’t have anything else with us so we used the visine allergy drops, in excess to try to flush out the eye and approx 40min later his pupil was so dilated and scary looking. It has only been a couple of hours, so still waiting for this to ease off, but very thankful to everyone for posting.

    Comment by Dan — 11/12/2011 @ 9:27 pm

  68. THANK YOU! I thought I had a brain tumor or something until I found your site. I was about to head to the ER as others did until I googled: my one eye is dilated, and thankfully found your blog. So happy to find others who experienced the same scary scenario. I thank you, your husband, and the internet for quieting my fears.

    Comment by Brett — 11/27/2011 @ 9:47 pm

  69. Hello, not a contacts user but used Visine Allergy Advance Plus in one eye like I have a thousand times and shortly thereafter pupil dilated to a great degree. Never has before. This blog is a relief but the real relief will be if and when it goes away! Blurred vision so far but that’s all. If I go blind, i’ll try to let youse know.

    Comment by dantzig — 12/6/2011 @ 9:58 am

  70. A follow-up; no blindness! It’s them darn Visine drops for sure tho. Nearly 24 hours later, all is back to normal. All the best to alla youze.

    Comment by dantzig — 12/7/2011 @ 7:55 am

  71. Working outside and some wood dust blew into my eye. After trying to let it wash with tears I asked my wife if she had eye drops to rinse it with. She gave me some drops and I must have put about 8 or 10 drops in over 30 minutes. Eventually it washed out but my eye was sore. Continued back outside and checked it an hour later when I came back in to say WHOA that eye is really dialated! Showed my wife and she had the same startled look. Then I checked the bottle and it was Visine-A. Ugh, our assumption was the antihistamine that caused it. Hoping for it to go back normal soon but thankful there are many other similar stories. Moral = check the bottle every time and don’t rinse with allergy meds!

    Comment by Brent — 12/9/2011 @ 3:35 pm

  72. Dec 2011 – I too thank you for this post, as I was under the impression that I had used rewetting drops to treat the lens that came out while I was at a restaurant. I found when I got home that the eye I had the problem with was fully dilated versus the other eye which was normal. Upon examining the drops that I used at the restaurant, I found that they were allergy drops and not rewetting drops. So thank you for your insights…now I need clean it out.

    Comment by Don — 12/18/2011 @ 3:09 pm

  73. This just happened to me tonight! So glad I found this website! I used the drops in my left eye. My left pupil is really dilated! I called my dad freaking out having never noticed this before when using Visine A (eye allergy) drops. My step mom said I was freaking out about nothing. Turns out she was right! .

    So thankful i found this posting!

    Comment by Sarah — 1/24/2012 @ 8:27 pm

  74. Oh my gosh!!!! Thanks for posting this…I am experiencing the same thing right now.I used the same exact product, Opcon-A and my left eye is dilated.You saved me a trip to the Doctor!! :-)..I noticed immediately after I put my contacts this morning,I had a reaction, Thank you soo much!!..They are currently still dialated but not as severe (8 hours later)..thanks again!!-Aleta Ivey 01/29/2012

    Comment by Aleta Ivey — 1/29/2012 @ 4:37 pm

  75. Thank you for the post! Unlike most people that have written, I do not wear contacts. My left eye had been bothering me all day. I could not seem to get whatever was in my eye out so I decided to use an eye wash and followed up with a few drops of allergy relief drops. Within 20 minutes my eye was dialated and my vision was slightly blurry. My pupil seems to have gotten a bit smaller after seven hours. My eyes look just like the picture above! Thanks again.

    Comment by Erin — 2/5/2012 @ 10:29 pm

  76. good to see i was not the only one. i did the same the most of you my left i was bothering me after i put my contacts in so i took it out rinsed with visine allergy because i had nothing else at the moment, wentto the pool and when i got out i noticed in the mirror my one eye was completely dilated, im talking no color left just black and the other was tiny. kinda freaks you out so i got it checked out. i live in a town of about 2-3 thousand people and ofcourse none of the nurses at the hospital have ever seen anything like that so they had to call in the doctor. Doc reassured me id be fine and that there was no major problems with the eye and that those drops do in fact dilate the pupil and that the contacts actually make this dilation worse because the trap the drops directly over the pupil. My eye is all good now just slept it off

    Comment by kyle — 3/4/2012 @ 11:41 am

  77. Soooo glad that I came upon this website. My left eye was very itchy and irritated. Closest thing I had next to me were Allergy eye drops. I put in a bunch of drops in my eye and about 30 minutes later I started feeling dizzy and sensitive to light. I went in the bathroom and my left eye was completely dilated and my right eye had a tiny pupil. I freaked out and came upon this website. I slept it off and now my pupil is back to normal. Will never use those allergy drops again!!!

    Comment by Evelin — 3/27/2012 @ 1:17 pm

  78. Just wanted to add that I wear contacts as well.

    Comment by Evelin — 3/27/2012 @ 1:19 pm

  79. Another thank you! I was losing my damn mind over here!! Allergy drops and contacts. Oy. It is super annoying.

    Comment by Tiffany Todd — 4/8/2012 @ 7:40 am

  80. Thank you!! I was in a panic, my heart is racing right now.. Thank God for these posts. Im having the same issue.. I used Visine allergy eye drops for the first time ~ never again

    Comment by Amy Taylor — 4/10/2012 @ 11:22 am

  81. I recently had the same problem….kept thinking it was just something to do with my allergies. The doctor insisted it wasn’t. I had used allergy drops in my eye that morning. I wish I had more time to resarch this before my school’s nurse (I am a teacher) called my doctor. I was rushed to the emergency room and had a $4,000 plus bill. I guess it is better to be safe than sorry as the pain in my eye, the dialation, and blurry vision are all signs of a brain tumor!

    Guess I should have taken more time to research, but I was at school trying to take care of the little ones…no time to google lol.

    Lesson learned!

    Comment by Teresa S — 6/8/2012 @ 1:52 pm

  82. p.s. I do not wear contacts….so it doesn’t really have anything to do with that…just the drops.

    Comment by Teresa S — 6/8/2012 @ 1:53 pm

  83. This just happened to me with my left eye after using visine a with my contacts. Thank you for posting this because there is nowhere else on the Internet I could find this information. I took out my contact and put it in it’s solution but now I’m wondering if it’s safe to put in my eye again or if I should throw it away.

    Comment by Stephanie — 8/30/2012 @ 12:10 am

  84. hi.my kid is 2years9mths old.we overdosed him in eye dtops that dilates eye because the doc didnt expkain it well to us.does it affect his guture eye sight.and can he watch tv

    Comment by leila — 10/5/2012 @ 11:54 pm

  85. I used the drops in 1 eye without contacts and it happened to me. Thanks for the info.

    Comment by Rick — 10/25/2012 @ 1:55 pm

  86. This happened to me also. I accidentally left my contact lens cleaning solution at work (and couldn’t get back in to get it because the building was closed). I then discovered I didn’t have any solution at home once I got there. So I removed my contacts, put a few drops of Visine-A over each one in the storage case for overnight (because I figured “It’s sterile and meant for the eye; how could it hurt”?). The next day, I thoroughly cleaned the lenses with my normal cleaning solution and soaked them for a couple of hours before putting them in again. When I did put them in, my right eye had a violent allergic reaction (but the left one felt OK). I took out both lenses at that time and found that my left pupil was completely dilated (but the right one was its normal size, even though that eye had reacted with really bad burning and redness — maybe all that watering of my right eye helped prevent it from dilating so severely). I’m embarrassed I allowed this to happen; I should have thrown the lenses away in the first place when I couldn’t clean and store them properly. But I’m glad I found this site; the information here was very helpful and reassuring.

    Comment by Glenna — 1/11/2013 @ 8:39 am

  87. Thank goodness I saw this, I am at work, used the exact same eye drops this girl did and freaked out when i looked in the mirror, at least I know I will be okay!! Looking like I have a bionic eyeball, but I will survive.

    Comment by Tricia — 6/21/2013 @ 12:37 pm

  88. I am so glad you posted this. Its the first time I wore contacts and my left one was bothering me. So, as the others all I had was allergy drops. My pupil is huge and i totally freaked. Now, after reading I feel much better. Thanks All.

    Comment by pat — 6/22/2013 @ 12:38 pm

  89. Oh my! This is happening to me right now! I used Visine Allergy relief eye drops.

    Comment by Christina — 7/11/2013 @ 6:06 pm

  90. Same thing happened to me tonight. Freaked me out. Antihistimine eye drops are bad.

    Comment by Patrick — 12/4/2013 @ 12:03 am

  91. Boy, If I only had half the problems you all have I’d be laughing. Having a head injury that caused my right pupil to stay dilated all the damn time, the left pupil still dilates according to light.

    I have been trying out eye drops to get my left eye to match the right.. to no avail. Visine advanced with antihistamine allergy plus.. so far zippo change.. and another brand I got cost $16 but takes 6 weeks to work for allergy.

    I am not sure if Canadian products have the same or less ingredients or why one pupil is affected and one not when you all apply what ever brand of drops. It would be good to know what brand of eye drops used and if the company ingredients differ from different Country’s Canada seems a bit stricter on some things.

    Memory sense tells me when I tried contacts the Visine made my already dilated look bigger so I trashed that idea.. Not thinking till now to just use it in the other eye to even them up. So the seach is on along with colored lenses. Sometimes I get in a fix me mode and most of the time don’t think about it till someone says something rude or gives me a stupid look.

    Be thankful your eyes will fix, but continued use may cause it to go permanent I have read.

    Comment by Julie — 9/5/2014 @ 11:16 am

  92. Why isn’t this more known!? I used visine a in both eyes, but only one eye dialated. I do not wear contacts. ER visit, cat scan later I find this!

    Comment by sara — 10/12/2014 @ 3:39 pm

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