Charles Bonnet syndrome
Charles Bonnet syndrome affects people who've lost most or all of their eyesight. It's more likely to occur if vision loss affects both eyes.
According to the Macular Society, up to half of all people with macular degeneration a gradual loss of central visionmay experience Charles Bonnet hallucinations at some time. It's thought there are more than 100,000 cases in the UK.
People of any age can be affected by Charles Bonnet hallucinations, but they tend to occur later in life after a person starts to lose their sight. The hallucinations often begin when a person's sight suddenly deteriorates.
The main cause of Charles Bonnet syndrome is thought to be vision loss and how the brain reacts to it. It's not clear how loss of vision leads to hallucinations, but research is beginning to help us better understand the relationship between the eyes and the brain.
When a person starts to lose their sight, their brain doesn't receive as much information as it used to. It's thought the brain sometimes responds by filling in the gaps with fantasy patterns or images that it's stored. These stored images are experienced as hallucinations.
Find out what Charles Bonnet syndrome is, who it affects, what causes it, how to manage it, plus the help and support available.
There are two main types of hallucination that people with Charles Bonnet syndrome tendto experience. They may see: simple repeated patterns complex images of people, objects or landscapes Simple
Charles Bonnet syndrome affects people who've lost most or all of their eyesight. It's more likely to occur if vision loss affects both eyes. According to the Macular Society, up to half of all peop
Visual hallucinations are a normal response the brain has to the loss of vision. However, as Charles Bonnet syndrome isn't widely known, many people worry about what it means and fear they may be dev
There isn't a specific test for Charles Bonnet syndrome. Doctors diagnose it by: talking to the person about their symptoms taking a detailed medical history in some cases, carrying out tests toru
There's currently no cure for Charles Bonnet syndrome. Simply understanding that the hallucinations are a normal consequence of vision loss, rather than a mental health problem,can be very reassuring
If you have Charles Bonnet syndrome, talking about your hallucinations and how they make you feel may help you cope better. You could try talking to your family, friends, GP, optician, or ophthalmolog