Diagnosis and management of Charles Bonnet syndrome in a low-vision clinic: a case report

20 September 2017
Volume 18, Issue 3

The authors present a case report of an 89-year-old Caucasian female, with visual impairment, displaying symptoms of Charles Bonnet syndrome.


There are numerous reports in the literature describing visual hallucinations seen by psychologically normal persons with a visual impairment. Charles Bonnet, a Swiss physician, in the 18th century described visual hallucinations seen by his psychologically normal grandfather who was visually impaired. Later, in 1936, George de Morsier, a neurologist, described visual hallucinations occurring in older people with intact mental functioning (cited by ffytche 2007). This condition was labelled Charles Bonnet syndrome. The definition was subsequently altered to include visual impairment as the cause of these visual hallucinations (Hedges 2007; Menon 2005; Menon et al. 2003).

Sign in to continue

Forgotten password?

Sign in to view the article

Not a member? Start enjoying the benefits of College membership today. Take a look at what the College can offer you and view our membership categories and rates.

Related further reading

A glance at what’s happening in the world of technology - Spring 2023.

A common cause of sight loss in the UK, uncorrected refractive error is easy to remedy, particularly if caught early. So, Kim Thomas asks, why do so many people live with uncorrected refractive error – and what can optometrists do to address it?

It’s crucial to show empathy towards patients who are visually impaired. Kellie Smith explores how clinicians can get it right.