Phantom Glasses Syndrome

Exploring the Phenomenon of Phantom Glasses Syndrome: Understanding the Sensation of Feeling Glasses After Taking them Off

What is Phantom Glasses Syndrome?

Phantom Glasses Syndrome” is a condition where you feel as though your glasses are still on your face after taking them off (often abbreviated to PGS). The pressure and weight of the glasses pressing against your face is what’s causing this sensation, which is brought on by a process called neural adaptation, in which the brain gets used to receiving a certain input (in this case, pressure and weight) and continues to perceive that input even after the input source is removed. Your glasses may or may not also cause other sensations, such as discomfort on one or both sides of your head.

The brain is a very versatile organ, and it may learn to ignore certain stimuli in order to concentrate on others. When you constantly wear glasses, your brain gets used to the weight and pressure they put on your face. Although it can cause slight discomfort on and around your face, the sensation is harmless and normally goes away after just a short amount of time after taking off your glasses. The biggest question is why does this happen, what causes it, and whether is it possible to prevent Phantom Glasses Syndrome?

Not everyone suffers from Phantom Glasses syndrome, but there seems to be a correlation between how frequently you wear glasses. For example, those who only wear sunglasses and don’t need to wear eyeglasses on a daily basis are less likely to suffer from the phenomenon.

Similar Sensations

Phantom limb syndrome and phantom pain are similar phenomena to phantom glasses syndrome, in that they involve the brain perceiving input that is no longer present.

Phantom limb syndrome occurs when a person who has had a limb amputated still feels as though the limb is present and can even feel pain or other sensations in the missing limb. This is caused by the brain continuing to receive input from the missing limb, even though the limb is no longer there. This is common after amputation but with time and proper rehabilitation, it can improve.

A person who has had a limb removed may feel phantom pain, which is a similar sensation. This results in the perception of pain since the brain keeps sending signals to the absent limb. This is a much more serious condition than Phantom Glasses Syndrome, as the pain experienced can often feel very real and affect your quality of life.

Can I prevent Phantom Glasses Syndrome?

Massaging your temples and the bridge of your nose to increase blood flow, or shaking your head and quickly blinking to “reset” your brain, can help you get rid of this sensation. You might also try massaging your temples with your fingertips or taking a few deep breaths to relax. In some circumstances, it might take some time to go away, and during that time, you can occupy yourself with anything else.

The main thing is to try and completely forget about the sensation. As stated earlier, the more you think about it the more likely it is to stay with you. It’s similar to the idea of ‘manual breathing’. If I tell you to start being aware of your breath, then it becomes increasingly harder to not think about it. Each breath you take suddenly becomes something you’re acutely aware of and unless you try and forget it’ll occupy your mind.