Some individuals who lose all or part of their vision may develop Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS). They experience visual hallucinations as a result, seeing things that are not actually there. According to a recent study, this syndrome is unexpectedly widespread among persons who have specific kinds of vision loss.

Visual hallucinations are the primary symptom of CBS.  Most people have them when they wake up. What people see varies, but can include repeating patterns of lines, dots other geometric shapes, landscapes such as mountains or waterfalls, people, animals, or insects, people dressed in costume from an earlier time and imaginary creatures like dragons

The hallucinations may move or remain still but can be either black and white or colored. The duration of the hallucinations can range from a few seconds to several hours.

In a vision that is in good health, light enters the eye and is captured by the retina (the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye). These light beams are transformed by the retina into visual signals that are transmitted to the brain and allow us to see.

People lose their ability to comprehend new images when they lose their vision due to conditions like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy. In the absence of visual information from the eyes, the brain creates new images or calls up previously stored images to fill the gap. This is what makes CBS have visual hallucinations. It is not a sign of a mental health issue and is quite similar to how persons who have lost a limb may experience phantom pain.

To determine if you have CBS, there is no specific test. Your medical history will be discussed with your doctor. By examining your use of specific medications, mental health issues, and other neurological (brain) diseases, they will attempt to rule out any additional causes of visual hallucinations.

You most likely have CBS if you experience vision loss and visual hallucinations without these other symptoms.

Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) has no known cause or effective medical treatment, although there are certain mechanisms you can use.

People that use CBS are aware that what they are seeing is a deception. People may act on their hallucinations when there are other causes of them. They act in this manner because they think what they are seeing is reality. Knowing that your hallucinations are caused by visual loss can make you feel more at ease and less frightened.

Talking about your hallucinations with someone, whether it be your therapist, your doctor, a friend, or a family member, can help you feel less alone. A CBS support group is a terrific place to share advice and coping mechanisms as well as find a supportive community.

Additionally, it might be comforting to just remind yourself or a loved one that the hallucinations are brought on by eyesight loss rather than a mental health issue.

Do you experience hallucinations more frequently in dimly lit or well-lit environments? If so, altering the lighting might help you experience less hallucinations. If they occur in low light, for instance, turn on more lights or open the curtains. Turning on a TV or radio could assist if you experience hallucinations in a very calm Environment. Some people have discovered that stopping hallucinations as soon as they start by employing the procedures listed below. Move your eyes side to side or up and down (without moving your head), Look away from the hallucinations, Stare at the hallucinations and close your eyes and then open them

Some claim that stress and fatigue worsen their CBS. Make sure to get plenty of sleep, and try to find ways to relieve anxiety, such as through exercise or meditation.

It can be unsettling to experience visual hallucinations, especially if you have already lost your vision due to another disease. However, it is reassuring to know that the majority of those with CBS do not experience ominous or dangerous hallucinations. The more the hallucinations you have over time, the more you will learn to control them. In most cases, the hallucinations slow down considerably or stop after 1 to 2 years.

At The Eye Center- Dr. Mahnaz Naveed Shah & Associates our team of eight ophthalmology subspecialists/ eye specialists, eye surgeons who are considered amongst the very best eye specialists in Karachi and in Pakistan, have the diagnostic and treatment capabilities to treat from the simplest to the most complex patients. We work hard to provide our patients with the best possible medical and surgical eye care, in a state of the art purpose built eye care facility. We offer the entire array of medical, laser and surgical treatments to help provide patients the best possible care in the most efficient, safe and ethical manner.

If you need an appointment, please contact us at 03041119544 during our working hours or leave us a WhatsApp message at +923028291799 and someone will connect with you. Walk-in appointments are also available for emergencies. We can also be reached through our web portal on

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