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Eye exams can use epinephrine for pupil dilation


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  • Eye exams can use epinephrine for pupil dilation

    Hi everyone,

    I had an eye exam today and I learned something very interesting. When they dilate your pupils during an eye exam one of the drugs that they normally use is a drug containing epinephrine which is a stimulant to the heart and is not something that should be used for someone with heart disease or HCM. My optometrist told me that I should be careful to warn any optometrist who examines my eyes that they should not use such a drug when having my eyes dilated.
    Daughter of Father with HCM
    Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
    Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
    ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
    Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

  • #2
    Thank You, Thank You, for the info. That might explain why I always feel so crummy after an exam. I have told my Opthomologist of my condition-he either did not care/did not know. Neither is acceptable!


    • #3
      I was told many years ago to remind my optometrist NOT TO USE epinephrine. I have the habit of reminding him every visit, which he thanks me for doing.

      I also tell staff in hospitals epinephrine is a no-no for me and have it listed on my medical bracelet.

      Epinephrine will counteract with many drugs we HCM'ers must take daily.


      • #4
        Esther , I too have it listed on my bracelet. Many people look at me weird when I say it.

        Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
        Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
        Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
        SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
        [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
        Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
        Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
        Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


        • #5
          I had that experience when I first moved to Minnesota from Pennsylvania. My first visit to a new dentist, I mentioned that I could not use anything with epinephrine He didn't believe it was such an issue and called my cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. She straightened him out.


          • #6
            What do people do who have severe allergic reactions? I carry an epi-pen, which I have never had to use. But I have had epinephrine injections in hospitals or doctors' offices several times. I wondered why I had such strong reactions to these, so now I wonder what others have done. At present I guarantee that I would rather risk an over-reaction to the epi than die from a wasp sting or from eating nuts.



            • #7
              Rhoda you bring up a good point. If you have to have it for severe allergic reactions, the benefits outweigh the risks. I guess if you can avoid epinephrine, though, like when you have a routine eye exam or a filling when other drugs are available, it would be for the best.


              Husband has HCM.
              3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


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