What is it like to be visually impaired?

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In summary, the conversation discusses different forms of blindness and how it affects individuals. It mentions that there are various causes of blindness, such as cataracts and optic nerve damage, and how some people can still see to a certain extent despite being legally blind. The conversation also touches on the topic of blindsight and how it can affect an individual's perception. Finally, the conversation shares personal stories of individuals who have experienced blindness and how it affected their daily lives.
  • #1
Third Eye
I happened to stumble up here while searching for a Mother's Day gift for my Mother who is legally blind, I saw a thread from a few year's ago, the topic was, what do a blind blind person see? It's funny that I ended up here, maybe because I have really been pondering on a question I asked my 81 year old blind mom, I stood in front of her and asked her what does she see, she responded, she can see that I am brown in color and sort of tall ( I am 5'5) so I asked her does she know what I look like and she stated No, that she still sees my appearance as she last remember it, and I am 40 year's old but her perception of my appearance is how I looked at 30, my point is the obvious degeneration of the brain that regulates vision and how surprised and sad I immediately felt after hearing that.
 
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  • #2
Blindness is more complicated than simply seeing or not seeing. Some people are legally blind and can't drive a car or fly a plane but can still see enough to get around.

Some causes:

https://www.sightsavers.org/protecting-sight/

and how the eye works

https://www.sightsavers.org/protecting-sight/the-eyes/

There is another kind of blindness where the optic nerve is damaged but there's a secondary nerve pathway that notices movement and some people can see that even though they can't see. I suspect this is where the notion of a blind master of martial arts came from. They could see the movement and know how to counteract it.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/...jury-offers-insight-into-how-the-brain-works/

and lastly blindsight:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindsight
 
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  • #3
Related to Blindsight but a bit off-topic.

I once had a neighbor that had been blind from cataracts for years. At age 102 she entered an assisted living facility.

They eventually talked her into having the cataracts removed. She still stated that she could not see. She could however walk down a hallway and avoid obstacles!

Another neighbor had only a slight amount of hearing remaining and that in only one ear. If you weren't in his view, you could sometimes get his attention by calling his name loudly near his 'good' ear.

It took about 3 or 4 attempts before he would realize that there was something to 'actually listen to', as if that part of his brain had been on standby and you just woke it up!
 
  • #4
My ENT said if you don't fix hearing you can lose the ability to understand words so its likely lack of stimulation will cause that in other cases as well.
 
  • #5
The first time I clicked on this thread I got served up a completely blank page, just all white. I thought: How the hell did the OP do that??
 
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  • #6
I've had concussion induced blindness. For several days.

It isn't like closing your eyes. There's no "blackness". There is simply nothing. Like the space between your eyes and the closest wall. Now think transparency out to infinity. As a former poster of CosmoQuest once said, "It's like trying to see with your elbow."
Describing blindness to someone who's never been blind is like describing orange to a blind person.
 

Related to What is it like to be visually impaired?

1. What causes blindness?

Blindness can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic conditions, eye injuries or diseases, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes. It can also be a result of aging or hereditary factors.

2. Can a blind person see anything at all?

It depends on the individual and the cause of their blindness. Some blind individuals may have partial vision or light perception, while others may have no visual perception at all. The level of blindness can also vary among individuals.

3. Is it all blackness for a blind person?

No, the experience of blindness is different for each individual. Some may see blackness or darkness, while others may see flashes of light or shadows. Some may also have visual memories or visual hallucinations.

4. Can blindness be cured?

It depends on the cause of blindness. Some types of blindness can be treated with surgery, medication, or other interventions. However, for individuals with permanent blindness caused by irreversible damage to the eye or optic nerve, there is currently no cure.

5. How do blind people navigate and perceive the world?

Blind individuals can use various techniques and tools to navigate their surroundings and perceive the world. These can include using a cane or guide dog for mobility, learning braille and using assistive technology for reading and writing, and relying on auditory, tactile, and olfactory cues for information about their surroundings.

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