10.45am - 11.45am
Lecture | Lecture
I spy with my blind eye something called Charles Bonnet syndrome

CPD ref: C-102440

Description: Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) is characterised by the subjective experience of visual hallucinations secondary to sight loss and is thought to affect 15% of our patients with visual impairment of any cause. This lecture will present an overview of CBS, its cause, who it can affect, how it can be managed, and the latest research on this condition. The aim is to raise awareness amongst optometry colleagues as many of these patients present in community practice. 

Target audience: Optometrist 

Domains and learning outcomes
Clinical practice
s.5 Keep your knowledge and skills up to date
- Understands Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) and the recent research - what is it, why does it occur, who does it affect and what advice you can provide to patients
- Understands simple coping mechanisms to help patients deal with CBS
S.4 Show care and compassion for your patients
- Able to discuss CBS and visual hallucinations sensitively with patients presenting with visual impairment
s.10 Work collaboratively with colleagues in the interests of patients
- Able to signpost patients to the relevant support groups and resources that will help them when presenting with CBS and understand when referral is required.


Mariya Moosajee

Professor Mariya Moosajee is a clinician scientist, she is a Consultant Ophthalmologist in Genetic Eye Disease at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Professor of Molecular Ophthalmology at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, and Group Leader of Ocular Genomics and Therapeutics at the Francis Crick Institute in London. She graduated with First Class Honours in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics in 2000, Medicine (MBBS) in 2003, and was awarded her PhD in Molecular Ophthalmology in 2009 all from Imperial College London. She has been awarded over 30 international and national prizes for her research and has over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. She has been named in top 100 most influential figures in the world of ophthalmology in The Ophthalmologist Power List 2022, she’s in top 100 most influential female figures in ophthalmology in The Ophthalmologist Power List 2021 and in the top 10 Champions for Change in The Ophthalmologist Power List 2019.

Her clinical focus is providing a genomic ophthalmology service for children and adults affected with pan-ocular genetic eye disease. Her clinical research involves deep phenotyping and natural history studies on molecularly confirmed rare disease patient cohorts to understand disease progression and define outcome metrics for clinical trials. As the majority of her patients have low vision, she has developed a research interest into Charles Bonnet syndrome, which is commonly associated with genetic eye disease. In the laboratory, she is advancing our understanding of the molecular basis of ocular maldevelopment and inherited retinal dystrophies, using zebrafish disease models and human induced pluripotent stem cell derived retinal organoids. This permits the identification of potential therapeutic targets for development of treatment strategies, including small molecule drugs and non-viral gene therapy. Professor Moosajee is the President of the UK Eye Genetics Group, Research Lead for the Education Committee and elected member of the Academic Committee of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, and President of Women in Vision UK.

Nina Chesworth

Nina has been visually impaired all of her life and lost her sight after two accidents, the second of which happened in 2018. She also developed Charles Bonnet Syndrome as a result of this.  This pressed reset on many aspects of her life but one thing that remained was her creativity, resilience and determination. 

Many of the skills she’d developed as a visually impaired person crossed over to life with complete sight loss, so she had a head start on adapting to being blind. What she wasn’t expecting was Charles Bonnet Syndrome and the effect it had on her wellbeing. This really took a nose dive. Never being one to sit still for too long, Nina’s research into wellbeing began. She re-trained as a manual therapist and facilitator and wanted to find ways she could use the tools within the wellness industry and remain creative.  She wants to share what she has learnt, in the hope it will help others on their journey. Creativity and wellbeing practice has been a big part of her recovery journey and helps her to live with and embrace sight loss and Charles Bonnet Syndrome.