What do blind people see? This is probably one of those questions we all wonder at one point or another. But making such an inquiry would be considered insensitive so we tend to push it away as one of those things to find out in the future. In this article, we will try to explain the answer as best as we can.
Many people with perfect sight assume blind people see blackness like when we close our eyes. But it is not really accurate. Complete blindness or ‘no light perception’ is a very rare possibility. It happens only if the eye is completely removed, the optic nerve is severed or if the brain is damaged. In such cases, a person does not see anything, not even blackness.
The rest of the visually impaired are considered to be partially sighted, i.e. they have some level of vision. Depending on the reason for their loss of sight, they may ‘see’ different things. For example, People with visual impairment due to cataract will sense light but will have a blurred vision with a yellow tinge filter.
Loss of vision because of Macular Degeneration (AMD) typically has two different forms. In the case of dry macular degeneration, a person may have blind spots at the center of the vision. In some cases, AMD can lead to Wet macular degeneration which causes further damage to vision and the blind spots become bigger. As a result, the amount of light entering the retina is reduced to a significant degree.
Sufferers of diabetic retinopathy experience a wavy vision where colors are perceived as different. In addition, they may have trouble with night vision.
People suffering from Glaucoma suffer from haziness and tunnel vision.
Understanding how visually impaired people experience vision may help us be more aware of their needs.