Unequal Pupils (Anisocoria)
When anisocoria is greater in bright light than in dim light, the larger pupil cannot constrict properly. Causes include blunt trauma to the eye, open-angle glaucoma (p. 148), and impaired parasympathetic nerve supply to the iris, as in tonic pupil and oculomotor nerve paralysis. When anisocoria is greater in dim light, the smaller pupil cannot dilate properly, as in Horner's syndrome, which is caused by an interruption of the sympathetic nerve supply.
Tonic Pupil (Adie's Pupil)
A tonic pupil is large, regular, and usually unilateral. Its reaction to light is severely reduced and slowed, or even absent. The near reaction, though very slow, is present. Slow accommodation causes blurred vision. Deep tendon reflexes are often decreased.
Oculomotor Nerve (CN III) Paralysis
The dilated pupil (about 6-7 mm) is fixed to light and near effort. Ptosis of the upper eyelid and lateral deviation of the eye, as shown here, are often but not always present. (An even more dilated [8-9 mm] and fixed pupil may be due to local application of atropine-like agents.)
The affected pupil, though small, reacts briskly to light and near effort. Ptosis of the eyelid is present, perhaps with loss of sweating on the forehead of the same side. In congenital Horner's syndrome, the involved iris is lighter in color than its fellow (heterochromia).
Unilateral blindness does not cause anisocoria as long as the sympathetic and parasympathetic innervation to both irises is normal. A light directed into the seeing eye produces a direct reaction in that eye and a consensual reaction in the blind eye. A light directed into the blind eye, however, causes no response in either eye.
Small, irregular pupils that do not react to light but do react to near effort indicate Argyll Robertson pupils. They are usually but not always caused by central nervous system syphilis.
See also Table 16-15, Pupils in Comatose Patients, p. 621.
TABLE 5-10 ■ Deviations of the Eyes
Deviation of the eyes from their normally conjugate position is termed strabismus or squint. Strabismus may be classified into two groups: ( 1 ) nonparalytic, in which the deviation is constant in all directions of gaze, and (2 ) paralytic, in which the deviation varies depending on the direction of gaze.
Nonparalytic strabismus is caused by an imbalance in ocular muscle tone. It has many causes, may be hereditary, and usually appears early in childhood. Deviations are further classified according to direction:
Divergent Strabismus (Exotropia)
Convergent Strabismus (Esotropia)
A cover-uncover test may be helpful. Here is what you would see in the right monocular esotropia illustrated above.
Corneal reflections are asymmetric.
Paralytic strabismus is usually caused by weakness or paralysis of one or more extraocular muscles. Determine the direction of gaze that maximizes the deviation. For example:
A Left Cranial looking to the right Nerve VI Paralysis
looking straight ahead looking to the left
Eyes are conjugate.
Esotropia is maximum.
Was this article helpful?
If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.