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Problems with eyesight - blindness

vision; blind; blindness; problems; eye; eyesight; see; sight ;


What are problems with sight?

 Sometimes people have problems with their eyesight. They may be able to:

  • see just a little with both eyes
  • blindnesssee things only if they’re very close
  • see better some days than others
  • see two of something
  • see everything blurry [fuzzy]
  • see well only in good light
  • see with one eye only
  • not see at all.

They may have been born with this problem or they may have a disease, which affects their eyesight, or they may have lost vision because of an accident.

How to help a friend who has a problem with sight

If your friend is severely vision impaired [can’t see] then there are lots of ways in which you can help her.

  • Always ask her whether she would like some help and what help she needs first.
  • Tell her what is happening if there is a sudden noise or movement nearby.
  • Touch her fingers if you are giving her something so that she can feel what it is.
  • Guide her hand towards something she needs.
  • Let your friend hold your arm and walk slightly behind you. Don’t hold her arm and drag her along with you.
  • blindnessAlways use people’s names when you are talking in a group then your friend can follow the conversation.
  • Talk about where you are going, "We are going along the corridor; there are some steps at the end." Stop at the steps and say, "steps down" or "steps up."
  • Play games that your friend can play.
  • Walk around describing what is around and what is going on.
  • If you are taking your friend to a chair, lead her forward gently until her legs touch the seat then she can sit herself down.

How to understand

Ask someone you trust to blindfold you and take you on a walk round a safe area like your house, garden or schoolyard.

Walk slowly behind this person, holding his arm and trying to work out where you are.

  • Could you tell where you were without using your eyes?
  • What senses did you use to help you work out where you were?
  • How did you feel?

You were still the same person weren’t you? The only difference was that for a short while you were unable to see. But you can understand how annoying it must be for people with a vision impairment to be talked to as if they can't understand normal conversation, or even to be left out of the conversation altogether.

Dr Kate says

Dr Kate
"People who cannot see very well or cannot see at all can usually manage to do most things that they want to do.

It is kind to want to help people but always ask if they want that help. You wouldn’t like it if someone kept doing things for you when you wanted to do them yourself.

Guide dogs are working dogs. Do not go to pat a guide dog or try to give a guide dog a treat without asking the owner first."

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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