On occasion, even though a patient is well aware that they have had their eye removed they can report experiencing a momentary gimpse of sight on their “blind” side…

“The brain is a mash-up of stored visual memories. When visual cells in the brain stop getting information from your eye, the cells compensate. If there’s no data coming in, (occasionally) they ‘make up’ images”… This is not totally uncommon and is akin to “phantom” pain experienced by amputees. Some experts believe that the brain reads the body’s nerve endings like a road map and when there is disruption to this map (if an eye has been removed) the brain will on occasions try to “complete” this map but receives a “short-circuit” and the person can experience what seems like a flash of light or a passing shadow.

Ophthalmologist Jonathan Trobe, M.D., from the University of Michigan, explains it this way: “The brain is a mash-up of stored visual memories. When visual cells in the brain stop getting information from your eye, the cells compensate. If there’s no data coming in, (occasionally) they ‘make up’ images”.