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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Treatment for Charles Bonnet Syndrome



Currently there is no medical cure for CBS.

When you experience CBS, the most effective form of treatment can come from knowing that the condition is not a mental health problem or a symptom of another disease but is due to sight loss. Knowing that CBS usually improves with time (even if it doesn't go away completely) may also help you cope with the hallucinations. Having information on CBS and sharing your experiences with friends or family can also help.

Although there is no proven drug you can take to stop CBS hallucinations, some drugs for other problems have been successful in helping some people. The drugs that have been tried are usually very strong and are designed for people with epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, dementia or mental health problems. All these drugs can have serious side effects and should only be used under proper supervision and probably only for people who are very upset or confused by their CBS hallucinations.

Some common medications people take as they get older can interact when they're taken together. This can make your CBS hallucinations more frequent. If you’re not sure if the medication you’re taking is making your CBS worse, ask your GP to review your medication. This may help to lower the frequency of your hallucinations.

Coping
Having a hallucination can be frightening, particularly when you're also dealing with losing your sight. Although the hallucinations may not be of anything frightening, it’s natural to feel anxious and confused just by having the experience of a hallucination.

Self-help measures
You could try some self-help measures to help relieve your hallucinations when you experience them. For example, when a hallucination starts, you could:

**change the lighting conditions to see if it disappears – for example, if you're in a dimly lit area, switch on more lights or move to somewhere that's brighter; if in a brightly lit area, make it dimmer

**move your eyes from left to right – do this once every second 15 times without moving your head, then pause for a few seconds and repeat; it's worth trying this up to four or five times  

**stare at the image and blink rapidly or reach out to touch the vision – try this for a few seconds 

**move around or perform a task – for example, get up to make a cup of tea

**make sure you're well rested and are getting enough sleep at night –the hallucinations may be worse when you're tired or stressed

Some people overcome their fear by getting to know the figures in their visions.
For example, one man with Charles Bonnet syndrome has described how when he wakes up in the morning, he says, "Right, what have you got in store for me today?" to the figures he's seeing. This allows him to have some control over the way he feels about his visions.
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