Science Questions

Is nausea related to sleeplessness resulting from blindness?

Sat, 21st Apr 2012

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Question

Angie, Chelmsford asked:

I've had poor sight all my life. I was born premature and so they said it was retrolental fibroplasia. Before I lost my right eye and last year, I lost my left, but for the last 20 years, I haven’t been sleeping very well and feeling so sick and nauseous in the mornings. Any clues?

Answer

Russell -   What we know is that if you have no eyes, then your ability to regulate internal time is effectively lost in humans and so what Angie will be experiencing is essentially a constant drifting of the body clock.  Now, Allan Bird at the Institute of Ophthalmology has been able to stabilise individuals with no eyes by using 3 milligrams of melatonin in the evening.  And so, what will be useful is either Angie can contact her local GP and she needs to be advised by an ophthalmologist.

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