Charles Bonnet Syndrome: prevalence, pathogenesis and the implications to low vision patients

By Jessica Murphy BSc(Hons) FBDO When conducting research into the physiological and psychological effects of vision loss relating to Age-Related Macula Degeneration (AMD), an article was found concerning the expressionist artist Edvard Munch, infamous for his painting ‘The Scream’. The depiction of visual loss due to a right ocular haemorrhage was seen in his paintings, where the symptoms of photopsia and central field scotoma manifested into the changed perception of his visual world (Marmor 2000). Living with severe visual impairment cannot be truly understood by emmetropes or those whose ametropia may be corrected by mechanical means. For the elderly, it may be a truly frightening experience, one that is perhaps unable to be expressed adequately. How more horrifying to the already sight impaired, would the presence of Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) be, where the sufferer may experience horrifying visual hallucinations? *These articles are kindly provided by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians.*

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