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September 1992

Visual Symptoms Associated With Choroidal Neovascularization: Photopsias and the Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Retina Vascular Unit, Wills Eye Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa (Dr Brown), and the Retina Center, St Joseph's Hospital, Baltimore, Md (Dr Murphy).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(9):1251-1256. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080210069027

• One hundred consecutive patients with macular choroidal neovascularization were studied in a cross-sectional fashion. Evidence of bilateral choroidal neovascularization was present in 31 patients. Among the 100 subjects, 59% related a history of seeing flickering or flashing lights (photopsias) in the affected eye or eyes. The colors varied, but in 59% of instances the lights were white. Twelve subjects experienced formed hallucinations (Charles Bonnet syndrome); in nine (75%) of these patients, the sequelae of choroidal neovascularization were bilateral. Symptoms that are commonly attributed to vitreoretinal tractional phenomena as well as neurologic and/or psychiatric disease are also frequently encountered in patients with macular degeneration associated with choroidal neovascularization.