The pupil is the round, black circle in the middle of the iris or the colored part of your eye. It’s a hole where light passes to the retina, the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye. Like a camera aperture, your pupils control how much light enters your eyes.
Learn what your pupil size can say about your overall health from an orthokeratology specialist.
Pupil Size and Your Health
When examining the pupil, eye doctors usually look for anisocoria or unequal pupil size. Sometimes, anisocoria can be a symptom of a disease. Specialists examine the size and shape of the pupil in both bright and dim light. They will also take note of the speed and quality of pupillary response as well as any difference between two pupils.
A very long nerve pathway in the body controls the pupil. The nerve begins in the brain, goes down the spinal cord, over the top of the lung, under the subclavian artery, up the neck, and through the brain extensions. It then travels near the optic nerve and then to the pupil. Any interruption in this pathway could affect the nerve and change pupillary reaction changes. It’s why your pupil size can signify health issues that don’t have anything to do with your eyes.
The best way to keep track of your vision and eye health is through regular eye exams. For your comprehensive eye health and vision exam, visit Eye and Vision Care. We can also help if you need new frames, lenses, and contacts.
Conditions Affecting Pupil Size
Aneurysm – One of the symptoms of aneurysm is dilated pupils.
Glaucoma – A mid-dilated pupil can indicate glaucoma.
Brain Tumor – A tumor or mass near the origin of the pupillary nerve fibers can cause problems within the pupil.
Lung Cancer – A certain type of lung cancer can affect the upper part of the lung, which can harm the pupillary nerve fibers.
Multiple Sclerosis – Abnormal response of the pupils or afferent pupillary defect (APD) is an indication of multiple sclerosis.
Head Trauma – A concussion of head trauma can cause unequal pupils.
Cluster Headaches – Cluster headaches can result in a constricted pupil.
Stroke – In some cases, a stroke can cause changes in pupil size.
Whether you need frames, lenses, or contacts, Eye and Vision Care is here to help. Call us at (703) 659-4430 (Haymarket), (703) 961-9119 (Fairfax) or (703) 957-3384 (South Riding). You may also complete our contact form to schedule an appointment. We assist patients in Fairfax, Haymarket and South Riding, VA.