You helped Doris finally get some answers.

Doris Heath stands in front of family photos in her home.When Doris Heath, 93, was hallucinating that people were sitting on her bed at night, she looked to her doctor for answers, but he couldn’t diagnose the problem. It wasn’t until she turned to CNIB that Doris learned about Charles Bonnet Syndrome, a condition that causes hallucinations in some people with vision loss. We talked to Doris about emerging research CNIB is doing on Charles Bonnet Syndrome, and gave her coping strategies and techniques to help the hallucinations fade away.

  • This year, CNIB researchers determined that the price tag for vision loss in Canada had risen to $19 billion per year.
  • Our research showed that one in five Canadian subjects with significant vision loss have experienced Charles Bonnet Syndrome.
  • We reached millions of Canadians with crucial eye health messaging during Vision Health Month 2013.

Shining a light on Charles Bonnet syndrome

Charles Bonnet syndrome is a largely unexplored condition marked by vivid hallucinations in people with vision loss. The condition is so little-known, in fact, that many sufferers go undiagnosed and are left questioning their mental wellbeing.

In order to raise awareness about the condition, CNIB led an international study with the New Zealand Blind Foundation to study the condition’s prevalence, and found that it may be far more common than initially thought – as one in five Canadian and one in three New Zealand participants was found to have experienced hallucinations.

We’re now leading the charge to investigate the condition, raise awareness among the medical community, and help those suffering from the syndrome realize they’re not alone. Visit to learn more about Charles Bonnet syndrome.

Exploring cutting-edge assistive technology

Over the past year, CNIB has been proud to support the studying of Brainport, a revolutionary device that sends visual information via the tongue to the brain of someone who is blind. CNIB was one of six leading North American organizations to support the clinical study of Brainport, for which data was later submitted to the Federal Drug Administration for review.

As the process moves forward, CNIB has also agreed to provide interested Canadians with personal instruction in the technology’s use.

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