A poll of 1,100 health experts – including GPs, doctors and optometrists – found 37 per cent per cent are not aware of Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) which can cause vivid, and sometimes frightening, visual hallucinations for those who have lost 60 per cent or more of their sight.
Of those who are aware of it, a tenth admit they have a very limited understanding and 51 per cent would like to learn more.
While more than a quarter (28 per cent) would not feel confident diagnosing a patient with the condition.
And 78 per cent would look to rule out mental illness or dementia before diagnosing a patient with CBS even if they believe that’s what they are experiencing.
But of those who aren’t familiar with CBS, 11 per cent even recall visits from patients who had displayed symptoms of the condition.
CBS is widespread among the blind and partially sighted community – with research suggesting about one in five people who experience sight loss develop it, meaning at least one million people in the UK are living with the condition.
However, the condition isn’t taught in medical schools – and more than three in four (78 per cent) think it should be highlighted more when studying for a medical degree or qualification.
The research was conducted by Esme’s Umbrella, the only UK charity which offers support to those who live with CBS and their families.
And one of its volunteers, Nina Chesworth, who has yet to receive a diagnosis after four and a half years, spoke about her experience with the condition: “I first started experiencing the symptoms of CBS straight after I lost sight in my left eye after a traumatic incident.
“After waking up from surgery, I was seeing a lot of blaring colours but I was just told it was my mind playing tricks

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