Phantom Limb syndrome is one of those anomalies in life that when most of us hear stories about it we respond with a simple “Oh really? Well that’s interesting.”
It’s one of those common anomalies like reading about humans doing impossible feats like lifting a car off an injured person or jumping six feet straight up into the air to avoid danger. These stories fascinate us because we begin to think about the possibilities of the untapped human strength. Dormant super powers that reside deep in us that could potentially make us super heroes. When you read about phantom limbs then you start to think about the powers of psychokinesis.
But what about when it comes to vision? Those who have lost one or two eyes. Do they experience any Phantom Limb Syndrome and if they do, what is it like?
Researchers at the University of Liverpool asked the question and conducted a survey with 239 patients who had underwent treatment for Uveal Melanoma. They all had one eye surgically removed. The stories that some of these patients reported are really unnerving.
The researchers sent surveys to 239 patients who’d been treated for uveal melanoma at the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Centre. All of these patients had had one eye surgically removed. Some of their surgeries were only 4 months in the past; others had taken place almost 4 and a half years earlier. Three-quarters of the patients returned the surveys, sharing details about how they were doing in their new monocular lives.
Sixty percent of respondents said they had symptoms of phantom eye syndrome. These symptoms included pain, visual sensations, or the impression of actually seeing with the missing eye.
Patients with visual symptoms most often saw simple shapes and colors. But some people reported more distinct images, “for example, resembling wallpaper, a kaleidoscope, or fireworks, or even specific scenes and people,” the authors write.
Then there were the ghosts.
Source: Discover Magazine
So what are these shadowy beings that the patients are reporting? Ghosts?
Are these just images that our brain produces in order to make sense of the world and sounds around us? Images that are created from the information of our other senses, like sound and smell.
Like reports of people feeling an itch or twitch in their missing arms or reports of them being able to feel certain objects with missing hands. Can PES allow us to peer through the thin veil that exists in this physical world and offer us a glimpse to the phantoms that are around us? Creepy.