Charles Bonnet Syndrome Officially Recognized

After years of intensive public education efforts about the causes and symptoms of a mysterious hallucinatory condition affecting visually impaired people, Prevent Blindness and other patient advocacy organizations are pleased that Charles Bonnet Syndrome will soon be officially recognized by eye care professionals around the world.

As described in the latest revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), “Charles Bonnet Syndrome, also called visual release hallucinations, refers to the experience of complex visual hallucinations in a person who has experienced partial or complete loss of vision. Hallucinations are exclusively visual, usually temporary, and unrelated to mental and behavioral disorders.”

A version of ICD-11 was released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in June 2018 and was submitted to the 144th Executive Board Meeting in January 2019 and the Seventy-second World Health Assembly in January and May 2019 respectively. Based upon these endorsements, Member States will start reporting using ICD-11 on 1 January 2022.

Since 1948, the ICD has been recognized as the foundation for identification of health trends and statistics globally, and it has been the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. With the recognition of Charles Bonnet Syndrome as a non-psychotic disease distinct from other hallucinatory conditions, thousands of low vision patients will now have the benefit of a more focused evidence-based database of information and treatment.

For more information about Charles Bonnet Syndrome, see:

Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS)

Possible Cause of Charles Bonnet Syndrome Discovered

For an audio/visual presentation in Flash format about Charles Bonnet syndrome, visit

For personal support, visit Charles Bonnet Syndrome Foundation