'The unpleasant feeling was of not being in control,' she says. 'Once they are identified, they are not a problem.'
Hallucinations can last from only a few seconds to several hours. In a minority of unlucky cases, they are continuous throughout the day. Patients usually have several daily before they taper off to once a week, then once a month.
For 60 per cent of patients, they will stop entirely after 18 months. There has not yet been a long-term study, but some patients report having them for at least three years.
Part of Dr ffytche's research involves looking into ways patients can stop the hallucinations. 'There won't be a single recipe for everyone,' he says. 'But hallucinations tend to occur when you are in a state of drowsy wakefulness, so you want to rouse yourself.'
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Stranger than fiction
Ghostly faces and visions of 'little people': The eye disorder that leaves thousands of Britons fearing they've lost their senses