Why do people see stars in their eyes?

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Have you ever wondered why, after an accident, Wile E. Coyote saw stars in his eyes? We’d like to think that this starry-eyed effect is a simple result of blunt impact or blacking out, but seeing stars could actually mean something much more serious like cataracts.

Cataracts often forms as a result of trauma—the energy from an impact or a punch sends shock waves through the eye, disrupting our eye’s lens. This results in opaque areas within the eye. Many times, these opaque areas look like clouds, but once in a while they appear as stars.

So where’s the silver lining? Cataracts can be removed through surgery. However, instead of holding fast to your starry-eyed optimism that you’re invincible, remember to wear protective eyewear while playing sports, which is most often the cause.


  • Cindy Osborn says:

    I enjoy your interesting articles.

  • Mark McClain says:

    I have a nephew that plays baseball for Baylor he took a 90 mph pitch to the eyebrow which crushed it and is having to get it reconstructed. What time frame are we looking at before cataracts could show up.

    • David C. says:

      Hi Mark, unfortunately I can’t offer counsel on medical issues. In a situation like this, it is best to consult your eye doctor for this information and steps to help your nephew along the way. -David, VSP

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