Connection with seizures on eyes dilating?

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Is there a connection with seizures and eyes being dilated. My son was recently diagnosed with epilepsy, and after a seizure I have noticed his eyes are often dilated...

I have 2 daughters I'm noticing have eyes dilated randomly that I've always thought was 'weird', but, something we were just use to seeing in our family. Should I consider getting these 2 children tested? We've not seen any grand mals or anything like that. But, when my daughter was 2, she was rushed to the hospital with a really bad seizure she wasn't coming out of. She was completely stiff and frozen...completely unresponsive for more than 15 minutes. She was tested with normal MRI and told she had febrile seizures and would grow out of it. We thought she had grown out of it. But, consistently over the years, I have noticed this weird eye dilation thing going on. Now, my 6 year old is doing that as well...and lately, her left eye with turn to the right for just seconds...then go back to normal. I thought at first it may be a 'lazy eye'...But, now with noticing the dilation of her eyes, I'm thinking she may be having seizures?
 

momof3boys

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We were told by the neuro Im just now seeing that when seizure activity is present, its common to see one of the pupils dialate. Which makes me wonder why only one? why not both? He was in a hurry that day and we had taken up an hour of his time! lol So I didnt want to keep asking all these questions! But Ill make sure to ask him on my next appointment in June.
 
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That's interesting. I have a call into the neurologist to ask about this. But, both eyes in all my children are dilated and not just one. That's odd about the one.
 

momof3boys

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Yeah it is. My mom was with me when we went to see the neuro for the first time. That was one of my mom's questions to him. She will see my right eye dilate now and then. Most of the time when she knows I havnt had enough sleep or Im stressed out, she can really see the difference. He said those two factors make it very possible for seizures to occur, and dilate the eyes to show there are signs of seizure activity wanting to occur.
 
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Thank you so much Kristin! That helps a lot. My gut was telling me it could be in connection with seizure activity. I know at least 2 of these children having these problems have had their eyes checked, and they didn't find anything other than minor things...
 

momof3boys

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Im glad I could help you somewhat! lol. Yeah Id be keeping a close eye on certain things that come up that concern you. Heck Im like that with my kids! lol. My mom tells me It looks like my house is a doctors office since I have all my notes so organized! lol
 
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hahaha! I understand that completely! My neighbor has neighbor with a daughter that has epilepsy. She has a file that goes everywhere with her. :) I'm thinking I may need to start that as well.
 

momof3boys

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It helps me keep things organized. I usually write down any questions I have prior to an appointment. But things can get kind of mixed up, so I type it out to sort it all out before going! lol my drs must think Im a nut job! lol ha ha
 

Nakamova

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Your pupils dilate when the muscles in your eyeballs stretch. Several things can cause this to happen, including when during a seizure (and/or any subsequent panic attack) , the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is activated. The SNS is the body's fight-or-flight system and prepares you if you need to flee, fight, run, etc. During the activation of the SNS, physiological responses such as an adrenaline rush and heart rate increases, there is increase in sweating, trembling, etc. Dilation of the pupils is another sign of SNS activation. A seizure is a version of this "flight or flight" scenario -- your body goes into overdrive and sends oxygen to the brain, your heart starts racing, your extremities turn blue, and your pupils dilate.

So dilated pupils could definitely be a seizure response, but they could also be a response to other kinds of stress.
 

Nakamova

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There are a few possibilities:

-- Some people have different pupil sizes to start with, so when dilation occurs it appears more dramatic in one eye than the other.

-- Horner's Syndrome, where one pupil is more constricted than the other. There are many different causes of Horner's Syndrome. Depending on the cause, it can be present all the time, or it can be transitory. It can come and go with migraine or cluster headaches (and probably seizures too, since they are close cousins of migraine).

-- A lesion on the oculomotor nerve. In this case, the affected pupil is the one that is extra-dilated.

Having different-sized pupils tends to be fairly benign thing, but if it happens all of sudden after a head trauma along with signs of mental confusion, then it needs to get checked out right away.
 
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I've been researching myself and have a call into the neurologist. She wouldn't give me an answer right then and told me she would have to check with the Dr. first about the dilated pupils. Why won't they answer my questions about what can cause this? I just want to know if it might be connection with seizures to figure out if my other children need to be tested for epilepsy as well.

I've been scouring the internet to try and figure it out...but, google can be a dangerous tool for me, and surprisingly, there isn't a ton of information in understandable language that I could find. Everything I found did suggest serious conditions, however, and indicated it needed to be looked at.

I have appt. for all my kids that have this going on with the eye dr. and with the medical dr. on my oldest since she is experiencing severe headaches almost daily...that...combined with the dilation AND nosebleeds when she's in the sun for any period of time...I think we definitely need to have it looked into.
 

Nakamova

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Better safe than sorry, I agree. Headaches + dilation + nosebleeds = absolutely worth getting checked out. Let us know how things go.
 
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Thanks so much for your helpful thoughts! I'm learning so much recently about the brain and seizures, I think I'll be getting headaches soon! LOL
 

KarenB

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Our son often has dilated eyes up to an hour or so before he has a tonic seizure -- that's one of our clues that one is coming on. Perhaps it's part of a partial seizure or aura? Both eyes. I haven't noticed him having dilated eyes after a seizure (but he usually falls asleep after).

I'm glad you're packing all the kids off to the eye doctor and following up on this with the neurologist-- it definitely sounds like something that needs looking into.

I thought that was interesting -- the nosebleeds after being in the sun -- sounds like some sort of photosensitive response, which is involved in some seizures. But, others of us have photosensitive response to sun (for instance, I sneeze) without a seizure. I also (very rarely -- like once a year) have migraines triggered by the sun which affect just one eye -- that eye will turn red and tears will flow out of just that one eye, and I'll have intense pain for several hours. As Nakamova mentioned, there's a connection between seizures and migraines (fortunately I don't have seizures).
 
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Thank you Karen for your thoughts! It was very helpful! I feel like I'm getting more answers here than from our Dr.'s...so thank you!

But, my gut is telling me that the dilated eyes have to be related to seizures somehow...

I hope to have answers soon. But, seriously, what are the odds of 3 of my 5 children having seizure disorders? Isn't that a pretty uncommon statistic?
 

chmmr

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I hope your doctors get in touch with you soon mzollinger and can start giving you some of the answers you are looking for. i think 3/5 kids is definitely a pretty high statistic but stranger things have happened so while i would think it's not likely, its certainly possible, especially when we know that epilepsy has a genetic component in many cases.
 
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I agree! I do feel very overwhelmed with all the questions I have and right now feel like I'm getting the 'run around'. My simple question of, 'both eyes dilation possibily being a seizure', I think should have been answered by the neurologist's office. But, I just got, 'I will call you back after checking with the Dr.'

Really? Aren't they the experts? Why am I getting more answers here than there! It's just crazy to me.
 

chmmr

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I think the real problem, is that there are so many things that can be seizures doctors really are afraid to say anything to parents or patients anymore. In my experiences, i have spent more time trying to convince the doctors that i wasn't crazy and that i was seeing seizures in my young daughter (even after the first one being witnessed by our GP and followed by every single EEG of hers being abnormal). I found our pediatrician that knew me well was far more believing of me and what was going on, than was the neurologist. The neurologist (and more than one i saw but hopefully yours is better) seemed to be under the impression that they are all knowing and nothing ever happens "outside the box" so if something doesn't fit the perfect pattern for diagnosis they brush it off as the parents/patients over reacting or over analyzing. I don't think they realize how many of us try hard to educate ourselves on the condition and really go the opposite way to try and not overanalyze every little movement and possible seizure because of the way they treat us, while still trying to make sure we share enough to get our kids proper treatment.
 
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