Charles Bonnet Syndrome

What is Charles Bonnet Syndrome?

This syndrome is characterised by the presence of complex visual hallucinations seen by people who are vision impaired.

The hallucinations can involve detailed images of people, buildings or simple patterns of straight lines. This experience can be pleasant but can sometimes cause distress. People who have Charles Bonnet Syndrome are aware that these images are not real but they may worry that it is an early sign of mental illness.

Charles Bonnet Syndrome can affect people with significant vision impairment of all ages. However it is more common in those who lose their sight later in life. The condition often appears after a period of worsening sight and is common in people with age-related macular degeneration. The visual hallucinations usually stop within a year to 18 months.

Can it be treated?

Although there is no cure or treatment for Charles Bonnet Syndrome, simply knowing the hallucinations are not a result of mental illness can help people manage the condition.

For further information and assistance regarding Charles Bonnet Syndrome, go to the CBS Foundation website

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