What is Charles Bonnet Syndrome?

When people lose some or all of their vision, they develop Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS). Visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not really there) are a result of it.

What Causes It?

what is charles bonnet syndrome

Light enters the eye and is received by the retina in healthy eyesight (the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye). These light beams are converted into visual messages by the retina, which are then delivered to the brain, allowing us to see.

People with disorders like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy lose their eyesight because their visual system is unable to process new images. When visual data is not coming in through the eyes, the brain fills in the blanks by creating new images or recalling previously-stored images for you to see. CBS’s visual hallucinations are caused by this.

What Are the Symptoms?

what is charles bonnet syndrome

Visual hallucinations are the most common symptom of CBS. When most people wake up, they have them. People may see a variety of things, including:
● patterns of lines, dots, or other geometric objects that repeat
● mountains, waterfalls, and different landscapes
● people, animals, or insects
● people dressed up as if they were from another era
● dragons or other fictional creatures

The hallucinations can be moving or static, and they might be in black and white or color. The hallucinations can last a few seconds, minutes, or even hours.

What Are the Diagnosis of Charles Bonnet Syndrome?

what is charles bonnet syndrome

There is no specific test to determine whether or not you have CBS. Your doctor will want to go over your medical history with you. They will try to rule out any other possible causes of visual hallucinations, such as:
● mental health issue (Schizophrenia, for example)
● dementia or Parkinson’s disease
● whether you are using any prescription drugs

Treatment for Charles Bonnet Syndrome

what is charles bonnet syndrome

Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) has no cure or effective medical treatment. However, there are several ways that can help you cope and manage the disease, such as:
● Understanding that what you are seeing is not real
● Discussing your hallucinations to someone to help you feel less alone
● Changing your surroundings to brightly lit spaces
● Relaxing and resting
● Making use of your sight such as:

● Move your eyes up and down, as well as side to side (without moving your head)
● Keep your eyes away from the hallucinations.
● Keep your gaze fixed on the hallucinations.
● Before opening your eyes again, close them for a second.

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