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Dr Basu
Dr Basu, Experienced Specialist
Category: Medical
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Experience:  MD
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My elderly father is experiencing visual hallucinations at

Customer Question

My elderly father is experiencing visual hallucinations at night after falling asleep for a few hours then wakes up and is obviously not really awake, but can answer questions that I ask him. What could be the reason for this. Doesn't happen when he naps during the day.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 9 months ago.

Hi there,
This is Dr Basu, experienced Internal Medicine Specialist.
I am here to address your concerns and provide great service.

These symptoms can be due to the disturbance in RE sleep cycle.

He is having less NREM sleep and mroe REM sleep the phase people dream a lot.

Visual hallucinations can be part of that as well.

He needs a sleep study and a sleep clinic consultation.

Sedatives liek Ambien may suppress such episodes well.
Best wishes,
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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Could this be alzheimers. He doesn't have many symptoms during the day.
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 9 months ago.

Alzheimer's also will cause some memory impairments like forgetting phone numbers, destination while walking etc.

However, that is a possibility.

A neurologist or a sleep specialist will evaluate that for also.

Best wishes

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
If he does not have any other memory problems, can hallucinations only at night be a sign of dementia.
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 9 months ago.

That is very unlikely since it is not present throughout the day also.

Best wishes

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
My father has a prostate problem and wakes up many times during the night to urinate. Could this lack of sleep contribute to hallucinations.
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 9 months ago.

Yes it can --in fact this suggests disturbances in sleep cycle.

Prostate problem should be addressed by his specialist soon.

Best wishes

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
One last question. My father was taking Cipro for a suspected urinary tract infection. He ended up not having one but took the Cipro for 6 days. Could the Cipro have caused the hallucinations and if so how long will at last. Thanks.
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 9 months ago.

Yes cipro can cause hallucinations as side effect.

May last for 2-3 weeks on average.

Tends to show improvement with time.

Best wishes