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Visual Hallucinations For Patients With Macular Degeneration

One of the more common side effects of macular degeneration is visual hallucinations which occur with 10-40 percent of people with AMD. These hallucinations are extremely alarming to a patient with macular degeneration and can even cause them to question their very own mental state. Our low vision optometrist tries to make it a point to express to every patient with macular degeneration, that there is a very real possibility of having hallucinations because of their vision loss. This is your brains attempt to compensate for a lack of images due to your disease. Charles Bonnet syndrome typically lasts for between 1-1.5 years, and aside from the shock and concern does not have any physical side effects. Keeping an AMD patient in a positive state of mind, and teaching them basic tips when they experience these hallucinations is enough to transform the hallucinations from a major cause of anxiety to a minor inconvenience.

According to Wikipedia (1)

“People with significant vision loss may have vivid, complex recurrent visual hallucinations (fictive visual percepts). One characteristic of these hallucinations is that they usually are “lilliputian” (hallucinations in which the characters or objects are smaller than normal). The most common hallucination is of faces or cartoons”

While there is no treatment or cure for Charles Bonnet Syndrome, if you experience hallucinations due to Charles Bonnet syndrome here are some tips that may help.

  1. Having the patient feel that this is normal and it will go away is crucial to reducing stress from hallucinations.
  2. Increases the light in the room, or leaving on the television may be of help.
  3. Grounding the patient by talking with them or having them focus on real objects.
  4. Using humor, admiring the capabilities of the brain to create hallucinations, or keeping the patient active may reduce incidents of hallucinations.
  5. Reducing stress and treating any depression or anxiety is important.

Dr. Chris Palmer, OD Talks about Macular Degeneration.

Dr. Chris Palmer OD talks on KARE and recommends seeing your optometrist regularly. February is macular degeneration month and Dr. Palmer shares how he is helping people living with macular degeneration.

Advancements Offer New Hope to Macular Degeneration Patients.

Doctors may not yet be able to cure age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or reverse its effects, but recent innovations and improved understanding of best practices are greatly lessening its impact. Until a breakthrough to eliminate this degenerative disease that robs its victims of their sharp, central vision appears, it's a relief to see steady progress being made to keep patients functional, safe and independent. With February being Age-Related Macular Degeneration Month, it's an ideal time to focus on recent advancements in the field.

CORONA, Calif., Jan. 30, 2017

Millions of Diabetics Blind to Both Risk of Eye Disease and Help Available.

It's well understood that having too much glucose (also called sugar) in your blood from diabetes can damage a person's cardiovascular system and lead to such health problems as heart attacks and strokes. Lesser widely known is how frequently excess glucose can damage small blood vessels in the eye and lead to serious eye problems, including blindness. A recent study conducted by Everyday Health concluded that less than half of diabetics comprehend their risk of vision loss. Fewer still are aware of its prevalence.

CORONA, Calif., Nov. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/

Stroke Victims Look to Innovative Glasses to Improve Side Vision.

In addition to being the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, strokes can lead to any number of life-changing disabilities. One of the most common side effects of the estimated 800,000 strokes that occur each year in the country is a loss of side vision (hemianopsia) of up to one-half to the right or the left. With May being both "Stroke Prevention Month," as well as "Healthy Vision Month," there is a new focus on the challenges patients with stroke-related hemianopsia face, as well as the hope that advanced Side Vision Awareness Glasses (SVAG) can provide.

CORONA, Calif., May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/

Macular Degeneration Patients See Wisdom of Seeing Two Types of Doctors.

This February, which is designated Age-Related Macular Degeneration Month, also marks a shift in best practices for treating the vision-robbing disease. A growing number of patients, their families and healthcare providers see great value in choosing two different doctors to focus on different aspects of the disease. In addition to one doctor to treat the medical condition causing loss of vision, another helps manage the effects permanent vision loss has on lives.

CORONA, Calif., Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/

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