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Living with a Vision Impairment
Can you Imagine it?
By Deborah Kogler

I am often asked how my clients can explain their vision loss to their family and friends. Often, well-meaning totally sighted people will comment to those suffering from a vision loss that, "you don't look like you are blind or have a vision problem."

So what do people think a blind person is supposed to look like? Partial vision loss resulting from many common eye diseases is not yet well understood.

The fact is that many of us have a stereotypical image of a blind person as someone who wears dark glasses, has an eye patch, uses a white cane or has a guide dog. In actuality, only about 1% of the population is totally blind yet 23% of people suffer from some form of vision impairment.

It may help you better understand if you could see what they see. Shown below are some examples that simulate the vision problems resulting from four common eye diseases; macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts.

For more information on what it "looks" like to be visually impaired, please visit the Magnifiers & More website.

Macular Degeneration:

Imagine having Vaseline spots smeared on your eyeglass lenses and not being able to remove it.

Macular Degeneration

Diabetic Retinopathy:

Imagine your windshield covered with bird droppings and not being able to clean your windows with your wipers (macular degeneration can also look like this).

Diabetic Retinopathy


Imagine looking thru the tube from a roll of toilet paper (tunnel vision).



Imagine looking through a frosted window


Deborah Kogler is a licensed optician and owner of Magnifiers & More. For more information or any questions, please feel free to call 440-946-3363.

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