Living with Sight loss

Hi my name is Gary I am registered blind and I am blind in my left eye and I have Glaucoma
In my right eye and tunnel vision in my right eye.
I have been made to feel very uncomfortable by people who are not really sure what being
Blind really means I have found that the attitude of people can be very uncomfortable by the way in which they say things.
I have learnt that you must not be made to feel Intimidated by the way people view you and
I find by me talking to them openly about my sight problems they start to understand the importance of what a blind person's life is like and I find that they start to understand more about visual Impairment and sight loss.
Has anybody else felt this way.

Comments (3)

-InTheWorldOfTheBlind-'s picture

Reply to Gary54 by -InTheWorldOfTheBlind-

I've found since losing some of my sight (very similar to your sight loss actually, although the causes are different. I lost the sight in my left eye to an accidental infection during an operation (staphylococcus pretty much ate my retina) and I have reduced peripheral vision in my right due to the laser retinopathy to halt the rogue blood cell growth on my retina caused by my diabetes. Also my vision in my right is unclear due to the retinal damage,

Anyway. On to talking to other people. Explaining how I see to someone sighted is quite hard. You can use the normal analogies (Cover your left eye, look through a tube with the right. Helps if you're crying a bit so your vision is blurry) but it doesn't really convey what you actually experience. For a start the brain's ability to adapt means that what you see isn't just down to your eyes. If I concentrate on what my sight is actually like I start to notice that compared to my former vision there's some black to the left and that my visual field is smaller but on a day to day when I'm not thinking about it my world is just smaller.

It must be even harder for anyone who has had a sight loss condition since birth but whose vision hasn't changed. Near impossible I guess. How could you explain when it's all you've ever known. What would you have to compare it to?

The other thing I notice which has only happend once, mercifully, so far, was being patronised.

I went to a craft day over Christmas where we were learning to make a variety of different home-made Christmas decorations. My wife and I usually go to these things together but she was ill.

While I was there my eye condition came up because the lady running the course had to make certain adaptations to make sure I could see her examples (basically, as it was a large group, certain examples had to be passed to me so I could see them up close). Later around the table whilst I was crafting, someone struck up a conversation with me: "So do you go to a lot of these", "I've been to one other so far but I'm hoping to go to more", "Are they during the week?", "No, I work during the week.", "What, full time?!"

I bit my tongue to stop myself from saying "Yes, and I put ALL my own clothes on this morning as well".

It's difficult to get the tone across in writing but I got the distinct impression that there was an unspoken assumption that I had no job and just spent all my time going to craft courses. Dare I say it, I got the impression they thought I wasn't capable of work.

Other than that on the whole it has been a positive experience explaining to others my sight loss and my own eyes have been opened (if you'll excuse t he phrase) to the wide spectrum of sight loss.

Jim 123's picture

Reply to Gary54 by Jim 123

Hello Gary , I’ve certainly felt this way , due to the comments people have made about my sight loss .But many people do not understand enough about sight loss, so you have to try and educate them by explaining your own situation. Like you say,the message does get through in the end and they do understand better.

Gary54's picture

Reply to Jim 123 by Gary54

Hi Jim
This is so true the way some people see people like us selves is very hard to understand by people who are able to see I have found that people are frightened by the condition of Sight loss.
This in my view is what I have found to be the problem.