January 20, 2006.
The unexpected restoration of Joyce Urch's eyesight following a heart attack remains a mystery to her doctors.
By her own account she suffered from glaucoma, a condition in which abnormal pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve. But she also said there was a family history of blindness and, despite many tests, there had been no firm explanation for her loss of sight.
Specialists said yesterday that a reversal of glaucoma was not likely since the damage caused was irreversible.
"The only rational explanation would be that very dense cataracts dislodged spontaneously, but that is a bit outlandish," said Kerry Jordon, consultant ophthalmologist and a member of council of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. There were, he said, only anecdotal accounts of "psychological blindness" and of sight regained following trauma.
In 2000 there were reports of a 76-year-old man, also from Coventry, regaining vision after being blind for 12 years. One day, in his armchair, he realised that he could see colours and his sight returned. Again there was no medical explanation.
Four years ago a young woman from New Zealand, blind for 10 years, banged her head on a table as she stooped to kiss her guide dog. The next day she could see.
Guide dogs and "short sharp shocks" feature in several anecdotes. Tripping over guide dogs and being injured were cited in reports of restored sight in 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1988.
Another story, possibly an urban myth, relates to a blind Indian who, in 1985, hit his head against a door and regained his sight, but lost his hearing at the same time.
Source URL: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/01/20/nblind120.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/01/20/ixhome.html.
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