Eye dilation

Originally written June 30, 2021

Have you ever seen someone you’re attracted to and want to take on a date? If that person is perceptive, they might be able to tell you like them. How? The clue might be in your eyes.


  1. Why do our eyes dilate?
  2. Eye dilation and attraction
  3. Other environmental factors for eye dilation
  4. Eye care at CEENTA

Why do our eyes dilate?

The black spots in our eyes are called pupils. When it’s dark, they widen to let in more light and help you see better. Conversely, your pupils will decrease in size and constrict when faced with additional light. Both of these occurrences allow you to adapt your vision for your environment. 

That said, what does that have to do with seeing someone you like?

Eye dilation and attraction

When you’re attracted to someone or see something that appeals to you, your body - or more specifically your sympathetic nervous system -  activates. Your brain increases production of the hormones oxytocin and dopamine, both of which can cause your pupils to dilates your pupils so you can better see the object of your desire.

Other Environmental Factors for Eye Dilation

Remember, attraction is hardly the only reason your pupils might dilate. Fear can also stimulate your sympathetic nervous system and release hormones so your eyes can temporarily improve its vision.

Not every instance of dilation is based on love or fear though. For example, you may just be in a poorly lit room and your eyes are attempting to adjust. Your eye doctor has probably dilated your eyes during a routine exam. Medication and alcohol can also have this effect when your body starts to relax or when it is in an increased state of agitation. Finally, eye and even brain injuries like concussions can cause dilation issues.

Eye care at CEENTA

If you are concerned about your dilation or any part of your eye health, our doctors would love to see you. Schedule your next eye exam with a CEENTA eye care specialist today by using our online scheduling platform or through your myCEENTAchart account.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our eye doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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