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Alternative Names Return to topEnlargement of one pupil; Pupils of different size; Eyes/pupils different size
Definition Return to top
Anisocoria is unequal pupil size. The pupil is the black part in the center of the eye through which light passes.
Considerations Return to top
Occasionally, a baby is born with different sized pupils and there is no underlying disorder. If other family members also have this condition, then pupil size is possibly genetic and is nothing to worry about.
At times, for unknown reasons, pupils may differ in size. If there are no other symptoms and if the pupils return to normal, then the temporary condition is nothing to worry about.
Unequal pupil sizes that develop later in life and persist are often a sign of a brain, blood vessel, or nerve disease.
Causes Return to top
The use of eyedrops are a common cause of a harmless change in pupil size. Other medicines that get in the eyes, including medicine from asthma inhalers, can change pupil size.
Other causes of unequal pupil sizes may include:
Home Care Return to top
Treatment depends on the cause unequal pupil size. You should see a doctor if you have sudden changes in pupil size. The new development of different sized pupils may be a sign of a very serious condition.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
You should see a doctor if you have persistent, unexplained, or sudden changes in pupil size. The new development of different sized pupils may be a sign of a very serious condition.
If you have differing pupil size after an eye or head injury, get medical help immediately.
Always seek immediate medical attention if differing pupil size occurs along with:
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
The medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed.
Medical history questions documenting differing pupil size in detail may include:
The physical examination will include a neurological examination.
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:
Depending on the diagnosis, medications may be prescribed including cortisone (to diminish swelling of the brain tissue), anticonvulsant drugs (to control seizures), pain relievers, antibiotics (for bacterial meningitis), or anticancer drugs.Update Date: 4/30/2007 Updated by: Joseph V. Campellone, M.D., Division of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.