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Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009 Sep-Oct;25(5):390-3. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e3181b54b06.

Phantom eye syndrome: types of visual hallucinations and related phenomena.

Author information

1
Eye Clinic, 2061, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Ø, Denmark. dr.roed@gmail.com

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To describe the prevalence of phantom eye syndrome in eye-amputated patients, to give a description of visual hallucinations, and to identify triggers, stoppers, and emotions related to visual hallucinations.

METHODS:

The hospital database was screened, using surgery codes for patients who had received ocular evisceration, enucleation, or secondary implantation of an orbital implant in the period 1993-2003. A total of 267 patients was found and invited to participate, 173 accepted. Patients who accepted participation had their records reviewed, and a structured interview about visual hallucinations and pain was performed by one trained questioner (M.L.R.R.).

RESULTS:

The prevalence of phantom eye syndrome was 51%. Elementary visual hallucinations were present in 36%, complex visual hallucinations in only 1%, and other visual hallucinations in 14%. The elementary visual hallucinations were most often white or colored light, as a continuous sharp light or as moving dots. The most frequent triggers were darkness, closing of the eyes, fatigue, and psychological stress; 54% of patients had the experience more than once a week. Ten patients were so visually disturbed that it interfered with their daily life.

CONCLUSIONS:

Phantom eye syndrome is common, and the authors recommend that surgeons inform their patients about the phenomenon.

PMID:
19966655
DOI:
10.1097/IOP.0b013e3181b54b06
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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