Eye Need To Know: What Are Starry Eyes?


Have you ever seen “stars before your eyes”?

Seeing stars before the eyes does not only happen in cartoons.  The experience of seeing light without light actually entering the eye is a medical phenomenon that has been discussed since the days of Isaac Newton. These lights are known as phosphenes (from the Greek phōs light + phainein to show).   The most commonly seen phosphene is caused by rubbing closed eyes.  Other common occurrences include sneezing, coughing, low blood pressure, a blow to the head and some diseases of the retina and nerves, such as multiple sclerosis.  Other phosphene sightings have been reported by people who go for long periods without visual stimulation, astronauts exposed to radiation in space, and people using psychedelic drugs.

Something you need to know?  Ask Rebecca

Submitted by guest blogger, Rebecca Johnson, Founder of EyeTrain4You, an ophthalmic staff training and development company.  Contact her at Rebecca@EyeTrain4You.com

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