Ommetaphobia is also known as Ommatophobia and is the fear of eyes. Ommetaphobia develops when someone has a bad situation or traumatic event occur in their life involving eyes like seeing an eye pop out of the socket, getting hit in the eye, or going blind in an eye. It is considered a social phobia because it involves social situations such as looking into someone’s eyes, touching your eyes or things getting into your eyes.
The fear of eyes is considered to be a social phobia rather than a phobia of specific objects because a great deal of social interaction requires direct eye contact. In many cultures, avoiding direct eye contact can be perceived as a sign of rudeness or disrespect. As such, a fear of eyes can be crippling for people who suffer with it.
People who suffer from ommetaphobia can cope with their anxiety in a number of ways. The symptoms of ommetaphobia are individual and will vary among people. Some people, when confronted with their fear of eyes, may begin to perspire, feel slightly uncomfortable or become nauseated. At the opposite end of the spectrum, other people are so severely compromised by this phobia, that they may experience crippling anxiety and/or panic attacks.
Treatment usually involves behavioral psychotherapy. Medications may be needed in some patients especially if it affects quality of life.