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pain behind left eye and dialated pupil
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pain behind left eye and dialated pupil


  My 18 year old son had a sharp pain behind his left eye while excercising two days ago.  The pupil on this eye dialated and then did not respond to light like the other eye.  This lasted about 15 minutes.  It happened twice.  He has been to the eye doctor who told him to go to a regular doctor.  The regular doctor did not know what it was.
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Hello Deb,

Your question is actually quite concerning insofar as that a dilated pupil and pain in only one eye may be the first sign of a mass lesion like a tumor, or even more likely an aneurysm pressing on the third cranial nerve, which controls many eye movements and also carries many of the nerve fibers that regulate pupil size. Exercise, which causes fluctuations in blood pressure and in the size of arteries could cause an aneurysm to distend and only produce the symptoms periodically. Only an MRI scan of the brain can reliably screen for the presence of an aneurysm or other tumors that may reside in this region of the brain. The danger with an aneurysm, which is an abnormal outpouching of an artery due to weakening of part of it, is that it may rupture, causing a potentially serious or even fatal type of hemorrhaging in the brain. There are some other more benign causes of pain and a dilated pupil in the eye, but this sort of symptom complex warrants immediate workup and I would strongly urge you to get your son to a neurologist and get his brain imaged with an MRI scan ASAP. Until the issue of an aneurysm is cleared up one way or the other, I would urge your son not to exercise or perform other activities resulting in straining (such as weight lifting, forcing bowel movements etc.) If you are near the Cleveland area, we would of course be happy to evaluate your son, and have an emergency/same day clinic called the Neurology Access Clinic for urgent cases such as his. Our number is 1-800-223-2273 extension 45559/Neurology apppointments. If your son were to experience a sudden, severe headache or suddenly faint or collapse, you should call 911 immediately. Otherwise we would suggest the closest neurologist at a major medical center (if possible) nearest to your home who could see your son quickly. Please remember that the information provided on the forum is intended for general medical informational purposes only, and that the actual diagnosis and treatment of your son's spoecific medical condition should be strictly in conjunction with his treating physician(s). We hope you find the information helpful.





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