Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-11-2019, 10:11 AM
Hermitian's Avatar
Hermitian is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,549

Why can I not open my eyelids after dilating eye drops?

When I go to the eye doctor and they want to dilate my pupils, they put in the eye drops.

It stings a bit, and I think that is normal. However, even in the dark room, I have a very hard time opening my eyelids after the drops. They feel like they have 5 pound weights tied to them and I am physically unable to open them more than 1/4 of the way open.

This prevents the optometrist from doing what he normally wants to do, so he ends up using his fingers to physically open my eyelids. He seems a little irritated by this, but not extremely surprised.

By the time I leave the office, the world is bright of course, but I do not have the same heavy eyelid problem.

Is this common or uncommon? For either answer, why does this happen?

Last edited by Hermitian; 09-11-2019 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Spelling and grammar, as usual
Old 09-11-2019, 10:48 AM
mjmlabs's Avatar
mjmlabs is online now
A Rather Dubious Fellow Indeed
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Central So. New England
Posts: 63
Sounds like the eye drops are relaxing/paralyzing the muscles of your eyelid. Not uncommon, it seems:

Dilating eye drops contain medication to enlarge (dilate) the pupil of the eye. There are two types of drops: one type stimulates contraction of the muscles that enlarge the pupil (such as phenylephrine); the other type relaxes the muscles that make the pupil constrict and also relaxes the muscle that focus the lens of the eye (such as cyclopentolate). These two kinds of medications are often used together, either as two separate drops or as a single combination drop.
Source [PDF]: AAPOS
Take care of yourselves, and those around you. -- Margo Timmins

Last edited by mjmlabs; 09-11-2019 at 10:49 AM. Reason: tidying up a bit


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017