Phantom Eye Syndrome

Phantom Eye Syndrome is NOT a multi-million dollar summer blockbuster movie. It is a real medical condition that many patients report after one eye has been surgically removed.

Much like Phantom Limb Syndrome, in which a person might still feel like they have their arm or leg following an amputation, a person whose eye has been removed might still get sensations of pain or visual perceptions. A recent study at the University of Liverpool involved 239 patients who had undergone eye removal due to cancer. Sixty percent of respondents reporting symptoms such as pain, visual sensations like colors or shapes, or the impression of actually seeing with the missing eye. Some even reported seeing objects or people that were not actually present. People who suffer severe vision loss but without eye removal can experience similar visual hallucinations. This is called Charles Bonnet Syndrome.

Some of the conditions that might warrant an eye to be removed are Retinoblastoma, Uveal Melanoma, and End-Stage Glaucoma. These conditions can be detected during a thorough eye exam with your Ophthalmologist or Optometrist.

girl w/ prosthesis

This girl had an enucleation. Can you
tell which eye is her prosthetic eye?


Written by Bart W., Technician with Milwaukee Eye Care