I have very poor vision but think I am seeing things that aren't really there. What should I do?

Although this can be distressing, try not to panic. When you have lost a lot of 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 a lot less frequent, after about a year to 18 months after losing a lot of their sight.

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 the layouts of rooms, lighting, or certain eye movements can stop the hallucinations from appearing or make them disappear quicker.

Read our page on Charles Bonnet Syndrome for more information on how to cope with these hallucinations and seeking further advice. You can also contact our Eye Health team via our Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

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