The Human Eye Offers a Window into a Patients’ Health and Well Being

Park 06-08-15 Serge Bertasius Photography FDPOf all the complex parts of the human eye, the pupil is the easiest to observe at work. The pupil grows or shrinks, depending on light conditions. A complete eye exam Park Ophthalmology usually includes pupil dilation, which allows Dr. Beth R. Friedland the best possible view of the inner parts of the eye.

Park Ophthalmology has gathered five fascinating facts the about pupils to share with our Raleigh-Durham area patients:

  • Shape: Human pupils are circular; interestingly, a trait they share with dogs, wolves and Siberian tigers. House cats have vertically slit pupils, while goats, horses, and frogs have horizontally slit pupils. Scientists speculate that these differences are connected to when animals are most active and their need to see in different light conditions.
  • Dilation and constriction: Muscles that run through the iris like the spokes of a wheel control the dilation (enlarging) and constriction (closing) of the pupil. Dilated pupils allow more light to reach the retina, aiding vision. In bright light, the iris makes the pupils smaller to cut down on glare and protect the eye.
  • Pupils and attraction: When humans look at people they find attractive, their pupils become larger. In fact, a study focused on pupil size discovered that men found photos of women with larger pupils more attractive than those with smaller pupils.
  • Changes with age: As a human ages ages, the muscles that control dilation and constriction lose strength and the pupils do not react as quickly to changes in light. It may be more difficult to go from a brightly lit environment to one with dim lighting, such as a movie theater.
  • Dilation for examination: If an exam requires dilation, eye drops will be used to enlarge the pupils. Some conditions diagnosed during dilation can include diabetes, high blood pressure, macular degeneration, retinal detachment and glaucoma.

The pupil plays a key role in delivering clear vision. Dr. Friedland and the staff at Park Ophthalmology ensure that each patient feels comfortable with the exam and treatment. Check with the office if you have any concerns about dilation during an eye exam. Remember, anything involving the eyes, call the Triangle’s Eye Specialist, Beth R. Friedland M.D.


Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about the vision care is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.


Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829


Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail:

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Photo: Serge Bertasius Photography,