Can blind people suffer from hallucinations?

Can blind people suffer from hallucinations?

Infographic Text: Can blind people suffer from hallucinations?

Yes. Approximately 1 in 10 visually impaired develop something called Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS). The syndrome causes people to see temporary hallucinations. These visions can include simple motives or complex human images.

These visions differ from psychotic hallucinations in 3 basic ways.

  • The person knows that the images are not real.
  • Visions do not administer, lie, or threaten the individual.
  • Illusions are purely visual. There is no sound, smell or contact.

Research suggests that Charles Bonnet syndrome occurs as a direct response to sensory deprivation. When the brain stops receiving visual data from the eyes, it can fill in the blanks with its own information.

Although these hallucinations are not dangerous, they can still cause irritation or confusion. A trained therapist can teach a person how to cope with visions.

Bibliographical references:

  1. CBS Treatments. (n.d.) Charles Bonnet Syndrome Foundation. Retrieved from
  2. Charles Bonnet's Syndrome. (n.d.) Genetics and Rare Disease Information Center. Retrieved from
  3. Charles Bonnet's Syndrome. (n.d.) Royal National Institute of Blind. Retrieved from
  4. Sacks, O. (2009). What reveals the illusion of our minds [Video file]. Retrieved from

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