Today I want to talk about Charles Bonnet Syndrome. This is something that people without sight loss and actually a lot of people with sight loss, don’t know much about, or haven’t heard much about it before. Charles Bonnet Syndrome is visual hallucinations caused by failing vision. The hallucinations can be static or moving and can be very vivid, which in turn can be frightening for people. They can also be reoccurring patterns. I am lucky that I haven’t experienced Charles Bonnet yet and am hoping I never do, it doesn’t happen to everyone with vision loss, but can be easier to manage and less upsetting if people are aware that it can happen when our vision deteriorates or takes a sudden dip.
Hallucinations caused by Charles Bonnet are not associated with hearing things or any other sensation, just visual. Some people can even see animals and people moving around and they can seem so real and lifelike. The majority of people who experience Charles Bonnet have lost a good portion of their vision, but can be any age, young or old. I have spoken to a few people who weren’t aware that this can happen and that’s why I wanted to write a little bit about it, so that others don’t have to feel afraid of what is happening or family members who are aware can support someone going through the hallucinations as they can last a few minutes or up to several hours.
Nobody is 100% sure why the hallucinations occur, but it is believed it is our brains trying to fill in the missing blind spots and gets carried away. I am no medical expert though, so please if anyone reads this and are experiencing symptoms, just get checked over at your GP to rule out anything else ♥️ I have included a link to the NHS write up to explain more about Charles Bonnet xx