Help fight Charles Bonnet syndrome by donating now to fund urgent research.

Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) is a common but little-known side-effect of sight loss which causes people to see things that are not there (visual hallucinations). These hallucinations can be very clear, detailed and sometimes frightening. They can often come on suddenly and without any warning, leaving people feeling alone and confused. Lives are turned upside down overnight.

Together with CBS campaign group Esme's Umbrella, we’re urgently calling for more research into this condition.

We need to fund research today to understand what causes Charles Bonnet syndrome so that we can better support those who have this complex and often devastating condition and, ultimately, strive to find a treatment or a cure.

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Dr Amit Patel, an ER doctor, lost his sight unexpectedly in 2013, and since then regularly experiences visual hallucinations. Diagnosed with Charles Bonnet syndrome, he said:

“One day, not long after I lost my sight, I was walking down the stairs in my house and this girl suddenly appeared in front of me. I realised it was the girl from the horror movie ‘The Ring’. The hallucination only lasted about four seconds, but it was enough for me to fall down the stairs. We need so much more research to find out the cause of this condition.”

Fight Charles Bonnet syndrome now


Research can help us find out what causes Charles Bonnet syndrome. There is currently no treatment or cure


What  we know so far:

  • It affects people with severe sight loss and particularly those whose vision gets worse suddenly
  • It affects all age groups and doesn’t discriminate
  • Sadly, people who are socially isolated appear to be more susceptible 
  • Although  eyes are the sensors that respond to light, it's the brain that does the seeing. The brain receives information from the eyes and decodes it into the picture we see
  • If the brain stops receiving information, it can fill in the gaps with its own images. So it's possible that CBS is similar to the feeling of having a 'phantom limb' that can be experienced by people who lose an arm or a leg
  • Sadly, too often CBS is misdiagnosed as dementia or a serious mental illness as there is so little awareness or knowledge of the condition by doctors 

We need to fund research today to understand what causes Charles Bonnet syndrome so that we can better support those who have the condition and, ultimately, strive to find treatment or a cure.

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