How do you check pupil reactivity


Active member
I'm looking for advice on how to check pupil reactivity. I'm a medical student studying neurology and I'm looking for a reliable method to assess pupil reactivity. I'm aware of some basic techniques, such as shining a light into the eye to check for contraction, but I want to know if there are any other methods that I should be aware of. Could anyone advise me on any other ways to check pupil reactivity or provide me with any useful resources? I would really appreciate any help.


Global Mod
Staff member
Global Mod
To check pupil reactivity, an ophthalmologist or optometrist will typically perform a series of tests. These tests typically involve observing the pupils in response to light in different scenarios, such as in a dimly lit room or in response to bright light. The doctor may also measure the pupils' diameter in response to various stimuli, such as when looking at a white wall or when focusing on a target.

Pupillary Light Reflex

The pupillary light reflex is a test that measures the pupil's response to light. This test is used to evaluate the pupil's ability to constrict in response to light and to assess the integrity of cranial nerve pathways. In this test, the doctor will shine a light into each eye. The pupils should constrict in response to the bright light, and this should happen in sync.

Pupil Accommodation

Pupil accommodation is the process of the pupils changing size in response to changing focus. This test is used to evaluate the pupil's ability to focus on objects and to assess the integrity of the visual pathways. In this test, the doctor will ask the person to look at objects both close and far away and observe the pupil's response. The pupil should constrict when focusing on close objects and dilate when focusing on distant objects.

Pupil Dilatation

Pupil dilatation is a test that evaluates the pupil's ability to dilate in response to various stimuli. This test is used to assess the integrity of the autonomic nervous system. In this test, the doctor will administer a dilating eye drop to each eye and observe the pupil's response over a period of time. The pupils should dilate in response to the eye drops and the rate of dilatation should be consistent in both eyes.


Active member
To check pupil reactivity, a healthcare provider will typically use a penlight or a small flashlight. First, they will ask the patient to look straight ahead and shine the light into one of their eyes. The healthcare provider will then observe the pupil's size and reaction to the light. A healthy pupil should constrict when the light is shone into it. If the pupil does not constrict, or if it dilates, this may indicate a problem.


Active member
In order to check pupil reactivity, it is important to perform a pupillary light reflex test, which involves shining a light into the eyes from a few feet away and observing the pupil's reaction to the light. The pupil should constrict when the light is shone, and if it does not, further assessment may be necessary to determine the cause. Additionally, other tests can be performed to assess the pupillary response, such as the near reflex test, which involves having the patient focus on a near object and then checking if the pupils constrict.