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?

Sounds like the eye drops are relaxing/paralyzing the muscles of your eyelid. Not uncommon, it seems:

Source [PDF]: AAPOS