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How People With Different Degrees and Causes of Impaired Vision Actually See the World

164 million Americans wear glasses, studies say. Thus, you probably know a person or 2 who needs glasses to see clearly. But have you ever wondered how those people see without a pair of glasses or contact lenses?

We at Bright Side decided to find out how people with different causes of impaired vision see our world and we want to share the findings with our readers.

1. Tunnel vision

Peripheral vision loss (PVL) refers to the loss of sight outside of a person’s direct line of vision. Thus, a person can clearly see what is directly in front of them, but everything outside their focus is either blurred or dark, as if they were looking through a tunnel. Although people with PVL can still see objects in front of them, PVL makes it difficult to navigate in the area or inside large crowds.

2. Charles Bonnet syndrome

Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) makes people hallucinate — see things that are not actually present.

During normal visual acuity, the brain receives information from the eyes and processes it. When the sight is lost during CBS, and the brain doesn’t have the information to proceed, it starts creating its own pictures. Those who have CBS can see either simple shapes, patterns, and figures or more complicated images of people, animals, or objects — anything one can imagine.

Note: CBS hallucinations are caused only by the loss of sight. It doesn’t mean that the one experiencing it has mental health issues.

3. Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration or Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the area of the eyes that is responsible for sharp central vision. It mostly occurs in people over 50 and causes partial sight loss. AMD is a progressive disease. During the first stages, the image’s central area might be just blurred, but as AMD progresses, the blurred part turns into dark or blank spots.

AMD makes it extremely hard for people to read and recognize faces.

4. Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is an eye disease that people with diabetes may develop. DR affects the eye’s retina — here there is sensitive tissue that has a photoreceptor that absorbs the light and information it carries. Diabetic retinopathy has several different symptoms, and each one affects the vision differently. For instance, someone with DR may see a completely blurred picture or miss out on the central parts of an image.

5. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition that occurs because the eye drainage system becomes inefficient over time. There are 2 common types of glaucoma that distort the vision differently. The first type of glaucoma affects the peripheral vision, making it impossible to see anything outside the image’s central zone. The second type makes people see color rings or halos around sources of light.

6. Cataracts

Cataracts are the clouding of the lens in the eyes. This may occur in one eye or the other or occur in one and then spread to the other. Cataracts make it impossible to perceive the image clearly and blur the vision. People with cataracts experience difficulties with night vision and with sources of light — the light from cars, lamps, or the sun may be too intense for them.

7. Myopia

Myopia or nearsightedness is a common condition when one can clearly see the objects near him, but the objects far away are blurred. Myopia may develop gradually or rapidly during childhood or adolescence. The further nearsightedness progresses, the blurrier the objects in a distance seem.

8. Hyperopia

Hyperopia or farsightedness is a common eye disease where one can clearly see objects far away, but the objects near the person may be blurred. Just like nearsightedness, farsightedness has several stages. While people with mild farsightedness can distinguish the nearest object, those with severe farsightedness can only see objects far away.

Note: The article serves informational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your vision, it’s better to see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

Did you know how people with vision impairments see the world? Or maybe you are one of these people? Share your stories with us.

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