Charles Bonnet syndrome

Can people with Charles Bonnet syndrome have normal eyesight?

Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) is typically described as being associated with some form of visual impairment. People with CBS often present with a wide variety of eye conditions, with age-related macular degeneration being the most common. Although there appears to be a clear association between vision loss and CBS, it has been reported to occur in individuals with no obvious disease affecting vision. Additionally, it is possible for a person to have CBS due to an undiagnosed disease affecting vision. There are also several other causes of visual hallucinations that may be important to consider in people suspected to have CBS with no identifiable disease affecting their vision. For instance, people with certain neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease may experience visual hallucinations.

If you are concerned that you have CBS, but an underlying disease associated with vision loss has not been identified, we suggest working with your medical team to rule out other potential causes.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might Charles Bonnet syndrome be treated?

While there is currently no single treatment that is effective for all cases of Charles Bonnet syndrome, there are steps that patients can take that might have a positive effect:

  • Optimal eye care and regular visits to the ophthalmologist
  • Low vision aids to help maximize any existing vision
  • Avoidance of conditions known to aggravate CBS such as stress, anxiety, social isolation, and sensory deprivation
  • Reassurance that the hallucinated images are benign and that treatment is an option
  • Medications including olanzapine, quetiapine, carbamazepine, clonazepam, and donepezil
  • Certain rapid eye movements or blinking to help suppress the hallucination
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation

The Charles Bonnet Syndrome Foundation has additional information.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Where To Start

American Foundation for the Blind

VisionAware is a support and information resource offered by the American Foundation for the Blind. They provide an information page on Charles Bonnet syndrome.

Last updated on 04-27-20

Name: American Foundation for the Blind 1401 South Clark Street Suite 730
Arlington, VA, 22202, United States
Phone: 212-502-7600 Toll Free: 800-232-5463 Fax : 888-545-8331 Email: Url:
Name: Royal National Institute of Blind People RNIB Headquarters 105 Judd Street
London WC1H 9NE
United Kingdom
Phone: 0303 123 9999 Email: Url:
Name: Charles Bonnet Syndrome Foundation P.O. Box 352, Flinders Lane VIC, 8009
Phone: 1300 121 123 Fax : (03) 9654 5007 Url:

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