What is Charles Bonnet Syndrome?

Charles Bonnet syndrome is a visual condition that causes hallucinations. These hallucinations are brought on by the brain’s adjustment to loss of vision. This condition is most common in elderly patients that have other eye related conditions such as macular degeneration.

This syndrome is a very common condition; but a lot of people do not know that they have it. Around 50% of patients with vision loss will experience Charles Bonnet syndrome.

Research has shown that a lot of people will not go to their doctors about the hallucinations as they are worried that they may be related to mental health problems rather than vision problems. As your brain gets used to the changes in vision, the hallucinations should stop/ become less noticeable.

As mentioned before the cause of Charles Bonnet syndrome is thought to be linked to a problem with vision loss. Although the exact cause and full understanding of the condition is still unknown.

Here is a list of the most common associated signs and symptoms:

  • Severe vision loss
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Inability to control your hallucinations

How do you know if you have Charles Bonnet syndrome and what do the hallucinations look or feel like?

Everyone will have different types of hallucinations. Some will be more extreme than others. It is most common for them to occur when you are on your own in a familiar/ safe space. Some people have reported seeing lines or patterns, where as others have reported seeing people and buildings.

If you believe that you are suffering changes in your vision, hallucinations or would like an eye health check please do speak to a member of our team, please contact us.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.