16th November is Charles Bonnet Syndrome Awareness Day
Charles Bonnet Syndrome can affect people who are visually impaired or blind, and manifests itself as visual hallucinations. These hallucinations can be extreme and none lifelike, so sufferers can fear that the issue is a mental one, rather than related to their sight condition. Some people with CBS have mistakenly believed it was signalling the onset of dementia, and therefore suffered in silence rather than open up to those around them.
The main cause of CBS is loss of vision and how the brain reacts to this loss - replacing the lack of visual information received due to sight loss with pictures and images that it recalls from past times.
The Macular Society recently launched a campaign to raise awareness of Charles Bonnet Syndrome, which affects up to half of all people with Macular Degeneration. Thea Gilliard shared her story with the charity; her hallucinations include a bear at the kitchen window and two Edwardian men cycling into a hedge. Find out more about Thea's story on the Macular Society website.
There's also some useful information around Charles Bonnet Syndrome on the RNIB website, including Bee's story.
Esme's Umbrella is an organisation which helps to raise awareness and funding for CBS research and sufferers and is supported by various sight loss charities including Macular Society and RNIB.
If you or someone you know is dealing with sight loss and would like to continue to independently use a computer, have a look at our product pages to find out more about the solutions we offer.