Palinopsia, Continue to See Something Even though the Object Has Disappeared

Body Health

Palinopsia is a vision disorder in which the sufferer continues to see something even though the object being seen is no longer there. This condition can last a long time or be temporary. Although it seems trivial, palinopsia can be a sign of a health problem. Palinopsia comes from the Greek word palin which means to repeat and opsia which means to see. This term is used to describe a condition when a person continues to see objects, such as pictures, objects, or people, even though the object has actually disappeared.

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Palinopsia, Continue to See Something Even though the Object Has Disappeared

In addition, objects will also appear continuously when the person experiencing palinopsia turns his gaze in another direction. Objects that appear as a result of palinopsia have the exact same shape as the original object. This is what makes sufferers think that they see the object repeatedly.

Causes of Palinopsia by Type

Palinopsia can be divided into two types, namely hallucinatory palinopsia and illusory palinopsia. In general, the exact cause of each type of palinopsia is not known. However, both are thought to occur as a result of a certain medical condition.

The following is a further explanation of the causes of the two types of palinopsia:

Hallucinatory palinopsia

Hallucinatory palinopsia is thought to occur due to a disturbance in the hindbrain. This part of the brain functions to recognize objects through the sense of sight. If its function is disrupted, the hindbrain will lose the ability to store visual stimuli captured by the eyes and cause visual disturbances, one of which is hallucinatory palinopsia.

Hallucinatory palinopsia is characterized by seeing objects repeatedly very clearly. Not only that, the object also looks long enough to make the sufferer hallucinate seeing objects that aren't actually there. Hallucinatory palinopsia is usually caused by epilepsy, carnitine deficiency, and hyperglycemia. In addition, there are also other factors that have the potential to trigger hallucinatory palinopsia, namely:

  • Strokes
  • Brain tumor
  • Brain abscess
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Arterial vein malformation

Illusory palinopsia

Another type of palinopsia is illusory palinopsia. In contrast to hallucinatory palinopsia which are caused by disturbances from within the body, illusory palinopsia occur due to stimuli from outside the body, namely movement and lighting. Because it is influenced by environmental conditions, objects that appear continuously as a result of illusory palinopsia tend to be faint and last a short time. In fact, when looking at a moving object, illusory palinopsia causes afterimages to appear in the shape of the object itself.

Although generally caused by light and movement factors, illusory palinopsia can also occur due to several conditions, namely:

  • Migraine
  • Head injury
  • Drug abuse

Not only that, consumption of some drugs can also trigger illusory palinopsia. These drugs include:

  • Risperidone
  • Trazodone
  • Mirtazapine
  • Nefazodone
  • Topiramate
  • Clomiphene

How to Treat Palinopsia

Treatment of palinopsia is done by addressing the underlying conditions. If it is caused by epilepsy, the doctor will provide treatment in the form of antiepileptic drugs. Surgery is usually performed when palinopsia is caused by abnormalities in the brain, such as malformations of the cerebral vessels. Surgery aims to prevent blood vessels from bursting so that the blood does not press on the brain tissue. Rehabilitation measures will also be given if palinopsia occurs due to abuse of illegal drugs. If the cause of palinopsia is migraine, the doctor will prescribe pain relievers or triptan class drugs, such as sumatriptan.

Your doctor may also recommend that you wear glasses with tinted lenses to reduce the occurrence of illusory palinopsia. Palinopsia should not be taken lightly. The reason is, this visual disturbance can be a sign of a serious condition, so it is important to find out the cause so that it can be treated. Therefore, if you experience palinopsia, especially if it lasts a long time and occurs frequently, immediately consult a doctor to find out the cause and get the right treatment.

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