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Charles Bonnet Syndrome – what is it?

If you’re a fan of Coronation Street, you may have recently become aware of a storyline involving Johnny Connor, landlord of The Rovers Return, who is living with Charles Bonnet Syndrome. An amazing platform to share this common and yet relatively unheard of condition, the team at Coronation Street, along with Richard Hawley who plays Mr Connor, worked with Esme’s Umbrella in order to portray the symptoms as accurately as possible.

But what is Charles Bonnet Syndrome? The College of Optometrists have released some helpful information on this interesting condition:

Do you have diminishing sight and are you seeing images which could not possibly be there?

If so, you may have developed Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS). This is a natural and very common condition (an estimated 1 million people in the UK) which causes people of any age – children too – who have lost over 60% of sight, to experience vivid, silent, visual hallucinations. These can range from disturbing to terrifying. It is NOT a mental health condition.
It happens because the messages which wing their way constantly from the retina in the eye to the visual cortex in the brain slow or stop – but, for some reason we still do not understand, the brain then fires up and creates its own images. What you see depends on which part of the brain is firing.

During lock-down we heard from many people for whom CBS was exacerbated by the isolation and stress. Images seen became more frightening. Fever, too, can make the hallucinations worse. It is always worth asking your GP to check the side effects of any medication you are taking because sometimes hallucinations are one of them. Another brand might help the situation.

Charles Bonnet syndrome advice, information and support
The Macular Society runs a buddy service for people affected by Charles Bonnet syndrome. Telephone the helpline during office hours (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) 0300 30 30 111.

Esme’s Umbrella

NHS Choices

RNIB.org.uk

Myth Busters!

We all know an urban myth or two! They are great entertainment value and here at North Opticians we enjoy a joke as much as the next optometrists; but children’ eye health is no joking matter. Here, we dispel some of the more common myths we hear at our clinic so that you can be reassured that a free NHS eye test with us is the key to looking after your child’s eye health.

Toddler looking through a magnifying glass

Children always get their eyes tested at school.

Some do at about 5 years old, but is is a vision screening not a comprehensive eye test. The provision of vision screening is patchy at best. A comprehensive eye test is a thorough ocular health examination.

There’s no point until children can read the alphabet.

An experienced optometrist will employ a variety of methods to ascertain how well your child can see. Problems picked up early can be treated very successfully and we’d encourage all parents and guardians to book a child’s first appointment at around three years old.

Children are too young for contact lenses.   

Well, it really depends on the individual child. A sporty child might find them much more practical. Many children are responsible enough once taught how to handle and look after them.

Mum and Dad don’t need glasses so their children won’t either.

Not true! A mix of genetics and environmental factors contribute to eye health. City living, time spent indoors and family history all play a part in the make up of children’s eye health.           .

Wearing glasses will make my child’s eyesight lazy or give them a lazy eye.

Glasses will not make your children’s eyes dependent. When an expert optician prescribes glasses for your child, it can relax eye muscles and relieve strain. It’s always important to encourage children to wear their glasses as prescribed to maintain optimum eye health.

 

So there we have it! Now that we’ve busted some myths for you, you can book your children in with us by following this link.

 

Information found at Optometry Today.