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Charles Bonnet syndrome: symptoms, management tips for an eye condition that causes hallucinations.

Health & FitnessCharles Bonnet syndrome: symptoms, management tips for an eye condition that causes hallucinations.

Charles Bonnet syndrome or CBS can cause strange hallucinations and scare the living daylights out of the sufferer. It is a condition where one sees things that are not real. Although people may initially feel that they are suffering from a mental health problem or dementia, this is when someone loses some or all of their vision. Loss of vision in both eyes increases the chance of getting affected by this disease. Hallucinations can be of people, animals, patterns, shapes and can last for seconds, minutes or hours. There is no cure for Charles Bonnet syndrome, but it can be managed with some effective tips. (Also read: (Mental Health Tips: 3 Effective Ways for Women to Beat Everyday Stress)

What is Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS)?

“Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) occurs when people lose some or all of their vision. It causes them to experience visual hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t really there). Like a new Research suggests, this condition is more common in people who have lost much or all of their vision. It is more common if vision is lost in both eyes. Charles Bonnet syndrome can affect you at any age. It can, but it is most common in the elderly population as aging increases the risk of vision loss, says Dr Nikhil Seth, Senior Consultant Ophthalmology, Marengo QRG Hospital, Faridabad.

Why does CBS cause hallucinations?

Explaining why eye conditions cause hallucinations in people who lose their vision, Dr. Seth explains, “With healthy vision, the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye) receives light. is what enters your eye and turns it into visual messages. For the brain. The brain interprets visual messages so you can see them. When people have diseases like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy. When people lose their sight due to eye damage, their visual system doesn’t process new images. In the absence of visual data being transmitted through your eyes, the brain fills the gap and compensates for the images. Makes or recalls stored images for you to view.

Symptoms, types of hallucinations

Dr. Seth says that people with this disorder experience some common visual hallucinations, but it can also vary from person to person. The length of the illusion can also vary. Experts say that when people with Charles Bonnet syndrome wake up, they develop visual hallucinations as the main symptom, but visual hallucinations can vary from person to person.

“People with this syndrome have some common visual hallucinations, such as repeating patterns of lines, dots, or other geometric shapes, landscapes such as mountains or waterfalls, people, animals, or insects, people dressed in old-fashioned clothing. , like imaginary creatures, says Dr. Seth.

CBS Assessment

“To diagnose this syndrome, information is gathered about the patient’s medical history. The doctor looks at other sources of visual hallucinations, such as whether you take certain medications, mental health problems, and other neurological (brain) disorders. Conditions. If you suffer from vision loss and visual hallucinations without these other conditions, you may have CBS,” says Dr. Seth.


There is no recognized treatment or effective treatment for Charles Bonnet syndrome. You can resort to some techniques to deal with the condition. Dr. Seth explains.

Talk about your delusions.

Talk to your therapist, your doctor, a friend or family member about your hallucinations. Sharing your delusional experience with someone can make you feel less isolated. You will easily remind yourself or your loved one that the hallucinations are caused by the hallucinations and not the result of a mental health problem.

Change the lighting in your room.

If you hallucinate more often in dimly lit or brightly lit rooms, change the environment. Changing the lighting conditions can help reduce your hallucinations. For example, if dim lighting creates hallucinations, you should turn on more lights or open the curtains. If you’re hallucinating when it’s very quiet, you can turn on the TV or radio.

Do this exercise.

To manage hallucinations, you can also move your eyes up or down or to the side (without moving your head), look away from the hallucinations, stare at the hallucinations, close your eyes and then can open them, relax. . You can get enough sleep and exercise, meditate to beat anxiety.

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