I've started losing my sight and think I am seeing things that aren't really there. What should I do?

Although this can be very distressing, try not to panic. When you have lost sight, seeing things that aren’t really there, known as visual hallucinations, is fairly common and is often called Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS).

The hallucinations you see will usually be either simple repeated patterns, or more complex hallucinations of people, objects and landscapes.

People with CBS usually find that these hallucinations stop, or become less frequent, about a year to 18 months after their sight loss.

This condition is not a mental health problem or a symptom of another disease. However if you do start to experience hallucinations it may be best to talk to your GP so that other causes can be ruled out.

While there is no medical cure for these hallucinations, some people find that talking them over with a GP or counsellor can help them cope, while others find changes to room layouts, lighting, or certain eye movements can stop the hallucinations from appearing or make them disappear quicker.

Further information on how to cope with hallucinations can be found on our Charles Bonnet Syndrome webpage and in our Charles Bonnet syndrome leaflet, part of our understanding series:

You can also contact our Helpline:

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