Visual symptoms associated with choroidal neovascularization. Photopsias and the Charles Bonnet syndrome

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992 Sep;110(9):1251-6. 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Female
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Hallucinations / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Macula Lutea
  • Macular Degeneration / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / physiopathology*
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Syndrome
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Perception*