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Low awareness of the Charles Bonnet syndrome in patients attending a retinal clinic

Amardeep Singh1,2, Yousif Subhi1,2 & Torben Lykke Sørensen1,2

3. feb. 2014
2 min.


Visually impaired patients may experience visual hallucinations due to the Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS). While benign in nature, these hallucinations may cause distress in those
unfamiliar with the phenomenon. The overall purpose of this study was to determine the degree of awareness of CBS in
patients referred to our retina clinic.


Consenting patients attending our retina clinic over a period of three months underwent a thorough ophthalmological examination, including slit-lamp fundus biomicroscopy, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, fundus autofluorescence imaging and fluorescein/indocyanine green angiography (if applicable). Visual acuity was measured and the participants were subjected to a structured telephone interview.


A total of 200 patients were included in this cross-sectional study. Twelve percent of the participants were familiar with CBS. Patients who were clients at a low-vision rehabilitation clinic or were highly educated were more likely to be familiar with CBS. There was an association between low visual acuity and awareness of CBS. Logistic regression analysis revealed that only low visual acuity and university education were independently associated with familiarity with CBS. Fifteen percent of the participants admitted to having visual hallucinations.


Visually impaired patients are largely unfamiliar with CBS. Since unawareness of CBS may cause unnecessary distress in some patients, efforts to educate low-vision patients about CBS should be made.


Not relevant.


Not relevant.

CORRESPONDANCE: Amardeep Singh. E-mail:

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at

Reference: Dan Med J 2014;61(2):A4770