Why do we get funny squiggles in our eyesight?

Professor Hallux investigates!

Have you ever got out of bed really quickly and seen all these weird dots in front of your eyes?

You can see blinky stars that aren’t there sometimes – it also seems to happen when you get hit on the head – a bit like when in a cartoon a character gets bashed on the head and they get stars – or even tweety birds flapping around!

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Here’s what’s going on.

Your eye is a very delicate organ and needs a steady supply of blood at the right pressure to make sure the information coming in through your eye ball is sent to your brain.

When you stand up too quickly, that pressure can drop and so the signals coming into the eye are interrupted – this can make your brain generate some very strange phenomena – like stars or even big flashes of light.

It’s not quite the same when you bash on your head – that blow can upset the balance of fluid in the eye but the effect is the same.

It causes the retina to fire abnormal signals into the brain resulting in similar weird flashes. Normally it passes very quickly so you may as well enjoy the fireworks!

You can hear Hallux’s More Physiology Fix-Up weekdays from 6pm on Fun Kids!

Professor Hallux: The Human Body Podcast for Kids

Learn about the human body in this podcast - from brains and bones to ears and eyes!

 

Professor Hallux’s More Physiology Fix-Up, with support from The Physiological Society!

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