Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Myth Busting Mondays: How many people in the UK have a visual impairment? watch

  • View Poll Results: How many people in the UK live with a visual impairment?
    1 in 20
    13
    46.43%
    1 in 30
    11
    39.29%
    1 in 50
    2
    7.14%
    1 in 60
    2
    7.14%

    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    Hello and welcome to this weeks' Myth Busting Monday!

    This week, we are asking How many people in the UK are living with a visual impairment? The definition, according to the NHS, is a condition which can not be corrected with glasses. So, this doesn't include things like being long or short sighted.

    Use the poll to vote.

    If you have any stories to share, please post them in this thread. I've shared mine for Rare Disease Day already this year; but will share it again.

    I will post the result tomorrow.
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    My story:

    At roughly 5 months, (this would have been September 1989) my parents that my eyes would flicker. They took me to the doctors and I was refered to the eye hospital.

    Around 3 years later, I was diagnosed with a condition called tunnel vision. As the name suggests, it's just like looking through a tunnel. (so, unlike most people, they can't see things at the side)

    1 year later, my diagnosis changed. They were told I have something called Nystagmus. This means that your eyes wobble. If you hold your head at a certain point (a "null point") they stop wobbling. The problem with that is, your balance is affected. My parents were informed I would never be able to drive and there was no cause for it, which is often the case.

    Some 10 years later, I started to lose my colour vision, which I ignored. The problem I have is that because of my poor vision, it's sometimes hard to know whether it's my vision in general or there is something else going on.

    When I was 18, I really wanted to know if I could drive. Most people with Nystagmus can't drive. According to my consultant, many do just about meet the requirements; but because Nystagmus is affected by tiredness, it's much harder for us to do things such as drive. I also can't do things such as judge distance or speed of cars.

    Just before turning 21, I was seen at another hospital. He checked the back of my eyes and noticed something a bit odd. He told me to come back a few months later where he would do a few more tests on me. He did a tunnel vision test and the test for colour vision - the one with dots where you have to find the numbers. I failed!

    He told me I have a condition called Optic Atrophy. You have a optic nerve which goes from your brain to your eye and is how you see things. With me, part of mine is missing, hence the colour vision loss, the Nystagmus and the general poor vision.

    It's likely I've inherited something from my mother - they discovered at some point her optic nerves are swollen. She has a half sister whose eyes are black. (you have a pupil, the white part and the iris - she has just what looks like a huge pupil)

    There's no cure for either condition. There are currently trials going on for things like stem cell treatment and medication. But some of the medication they use, (I've been on it for different reasons) the side effects are horrible.

    Because I'm young and my eyes looks completely fine, (although I have to wear tinted glasses due to having such severe photophobia) most people don't believe I have a problem. I was told at college I can't possibly be partially sighted and I'm actually Dyslexic. No-one has ever suggested Dyslexia and there's a lot of evidence suggesting (I can only read 4 to 5 lines of the eyes chart on a good day, corrected) I've got eyesight problems.

    The prognosis of Nystagmus is that once you reach 5 or 6, your vision stabilises and once you reach your 40s or 50s, you get the age related problems that everyone else gets. With Optic Atrophy, there's no clear prognosis. I've talked to a woman in America whose son has the condition. His only problem is that he's completely colourblind, meaning he sees everything in grey. I've also talked to a woman who went blind at 11 and do know some people who have gone blind in their late 30s.
    • Section Leader
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Welcome Squad
    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    Hello and welcome to this weeks' Myth Busting Monday!

    This week, we are asking How many people in the UK are living with a visual impairment? The definition, according to the NHS, is a condition which can not be corrected with glasses. So, this doesn't include things like being long or short sighted.

    Use the poll to vote.

    If you have any stories to share, please post them in this thread. I've shared mine for Rare Disease Day already this year; but will share it again.

    I will post the result tomorrow.
    Brilliant topic!

    I've had a lecture on this a few weeks ago and have already forgotten how many (I'll check the thread on my laptop so I can see the poll option which may help rejog my memory!).

    I have a family friend who is completely blind yet somehow knows he doesn't 'see' just black, when I asked him how he knows he just laughed as if it was obvious :lol: I guess it's difficult for someone with sight to comprehend this. His particular sight loss is very rare (I forget the name of it) and he's one of about 3 in the country with it. He wouldn't want to see now though, he's always said that - not that it's ever held him back with grade 8s in instruments and a degree!

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by BurstingBubbles)

    I have a family friend who is completely blind yet somehow knows he doesn't 'see' just black, when I asked him how he knows he just laughed as if it was obvious :lol: I guess it's difficult for someone with sight to comprehend this. His particular sight loss is very rare (I forget the name of it) and he's one of about 3 in the country with it. He wouldn't want to see now though, he's always said that - not that it's ever held him back with grade 8s in instruments and a degree!

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    I've been asked a few times what do I see. Because I started losing my colour vision at 15, I can say that some colours are difficult to see. One of my friends was having to try to convince me for about a year that his car isn't grey and is in fact blue. I've had to start remembering certain peoples number plates (including his) because I just can't work out what colour their car is. But most things are difficult to explain - for the most part, what I see is completely normal to me.

    I do play an instrument to and for many things, there are ways around it. I'm lucky that for the most part, I've got enough vision that I can read. My prefered font size is around 20. Large print is 16.
    • #1
    #1

    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    My story:At roughly 5 months, (this would have been September 1989) my parents that my eyes would flicker. They took me to the doctors and I was refered to the eye hospital. Around 3 years later, I was diagnosed with a condition called tunnel vision. As the name suggests, it's just like looking through a tunnel. (so, unlike most people, they can't see things at the side)1 year later, my diagnosis changed. They were told I have something called Nystagmus. This means that your eyes wobble. If you hold your head at a certain point (a "null point" they stop wobbling. The problem with that is, your balance is affected. My parents were informed I would never be able to drive and there was no cause for it, which is often the case.Some 10 years later, I started to lose my colour vision, which I ignored. The problem I have is that because of my poor vision, it's sometimes hard to know whether it's my vision in general or there is something else going on.When I was 18, I really wanted to know if I could drive. Most people with Nystagmus can't drive. According to my consultant, many do just about meet the requirements; but because Nystagmus is affected by tiredness, it's much harder for us to do things such as drive. I also can't do things such as judge distance or speed of cars.Just before turning 21, I was seen at another hospital. He checked the back of my eyes and noticed something a bit odd. He told me to come back a few months later where he would do a few more tests on me. He did a tunnel vision test and the test for colour vision - the one with dots where you have to find the numbers. I failed!He told me I have a condition called Optic Atrophy. You have a optic nerve which goes from your brain to your eye and is how you see things. With me, part of mine is missing, hence the colour vision loss, the Nystagmus and the general poor vision.It's likely I've inherited something from my mother - they discovered at some point her optic nerves are swollen. She has a half sister whose eyes are black. (you have a pupil, the white part and the iris - she has just what looks like a huge pupil)There's no cure for either condition. There are currently trials going on for things like stem cell treatment and medication. But some of the medication they use, (I've been on it for different reasons) the side effects are horrible.Because I'm young and my eyes looks completely fine, (although I have to wear tinted glasses due to having such severe photophobia) most people don't believe I have a problem. I was told at college I can't possibly be partially sighted and I'm actually Dyslexic. No-one has ever suggested Dyslexia and there's a lot of evidence suggesting (I can only read 4 to 5 lines of the eyes chart on a good day, corrected) I've got eyesight problems.The prognosis of Nystagmus is that once you reach 5 or 6, your vision stabilises and once you reach your 40s or 50s, you get the age related problems that everyone else gets. With Optic Atrophy, there's no clear prognosis. I've talked to a woman in America whose son has the condition. His only problem is that he's completely colourblind, meaning he sees everything in grey. I've also talked to a woman who went blind at 11 and do know some people who have gone blind in their late 30s.
    I have a condition called 'visual snow' that isn't very well documented or known about (it's not known if the cause is the brain or the eyes). I've always had it since I can remember and just thought everyone saw things that way, so I didn't really realise that I had it until a couple of years ago when I asked my mum if she saw everything 'grainy'. Everything I see is grainy like sand and it's kind of like always seeing a static television or being able to see atoms (which of course I can't but it's how I'd describe it). It's usually worse at night/in dim light, and when I'm tired or in some sort of heightened emotional state. For example, last year in an exam I completely couldn't read the graph despite knowing how to answer the question because I was really stressed out about the exam and I physically couldn't see/read the graph because of my visual snow. It's also worse when I look at the sky for some reason. However, it doesn't generally affect me -even though it can be frustrating at times- and I don't need glasses or anything like that (I have 20/20 vision), so even though there isn't a cure or a known cause, I can certainly live with it and I'm just grateful to have the gift of sight
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (tunnel vision and night blindness) when I was 9 years old, i'm now 16 and my eyes have gradually gotten worse, from about 25 degrees to currently about 8 degrees of peripheral vision. I also wear glasses and have pretty poor frontal vision without them. I have accepted the fact that sometime in the near future my peripheral vision will decrease and I will go fully blind but i'm just thankful to wake up every morning and be able to look out of my window.

    Being told that I would never be able to drive or live independently was horrible and I refused to accept or believe any of it, I would never admit that I needed help let alone accept any, I spent many nights just thinking about how different my life would be if I was 'normal' but recently I have come to realise that there's no such thing as 'normal', everyone has their own little quirks and without mine, I wouldn't be me!

    Throughout my childhood I struggled to join in with different sports, especially during Pe lessons due to my lack of sight however I did find one sport I loved, swimming. I'm not a natural at it and I have had to work bloody hard for many years at it but after accepting my disability and using it positively I got into Para-swimming. I struggled accepting my disability growing up and being truthful, I am still slightly in denial now but after finding a Para sport that I was competitive and successful in has definitely helped me to embrace my disability rather than being in denial about it. I am so glad that I got into this Para sport when I did because it has offered me so many opportunities that I would never have dreamed of, I even get to represent Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

    Accepting that you have issues is the hardest thing to do, but once you do, so many doors will open up for you, you just have to take that first step, find something that works for you and embrace every moment on from there.
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by beckyr99)
    I would never admit that I needed help let alone accept any
    This is where I struggle too. I hate asking for help too.

    Throughout my childhood I struggled to join in with different sports, especially during Pe lessons due to my lack of sight however I did find one sport I loved, swimming. I'm not a natural at it and I have had to work bloody hard for many years at it but after accepting my disability and using it positively I got into Para-swimming. I struggled accepting my disability growing up and being truthful, I am still slightly in denial now but after finding a Para sport that I was competitive and successful in has definitely helped me to embrace my disability rather than being in denial about it. I am so glad that I got into this Para sport when I did because it has offered me so many opportunities that I would never have dreamed of, I even get to represent Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
    Good luck with the swimming and thanks for sharing your story.
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    Thanks for sharing your stories and thank you voting. The correct answer is 1 in 30. Some more stats for people interested:
    Sight lossHow many people have sight loss in the UK?
    Almost two million people in the UK are living with sight loss. That's approximately one person in 30.

    Who has sight loss?
    Sight loss affects people of all ages, but as we get older we are increasingly likely to experience sight loss.
    • One in five people aged 75 and over are living with sight loss.
    • One in two people aged 90 and over are living with sight loss.
    • Nearly two-thirds of people living with sight loss are women.
    • People from black and minority ethnic communities are at greater risk of some of the leading causes of sight loss.
    • Adults with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to be blind or partially sighted than the general population.
    Source
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Brilliant thread guys.

    I was diagnosed with Mears-Irlen syndrome around a year ago. Essentially, oriental patterns, straight lines and bright lights play absolute havoc with my eyes, making things flicker and move around. When I describe it to people I inevitably have to mention its 'like dyslexia' and they just assume its not that big a deal as 'you have dyslexia from childhood'. But in my opinion, its so much worse to be able to read fine for almost 18 years of your life, then have that ability taken away from you. I now use tinted glasses which help slightly when it comes to reading...
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by lordoftheties)
    Brilliant thread guys.

    I was diagnosed with Mears-Irlen syndrome around a year ago. Essentially, oriental patterns, straight lines and bright lights play absolute havoc with my eyes, making things flicker and move around. When I describe it to people I inevitably have to mention its 'like dyslexia' and they just assume its not that big a deal as 'you have dyslexia from childhood'. But in my opinion, its so much worse to be able to read fine for almost 18 years of your life, then have that ability taken away from you. I now use tinted glasses which help slightly when it comes to reading...
    I have it too and I think I read somewhere it's known as Visual Dyslexia. I don't see the things move around; but white paper is awful to read and write on.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    I have it too and I think I read somewhere it's known as Visual Dyslexia. I don't see the things move around; but white paper is awful to read and write on.
    Yh, white paper is my kriptonite.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lordoftheties)
    Yh, white paper is my kriptonite.
    You probably know this already, but there are some great notepads in different colours that you can buy to help with that. As well as that theres software to make your whole screen any colour that you want, for windows its called ReadEZ and for mac its something like Overlays on the store.
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by lordoftheties)
    You probably know this already, but there are some great notepads in different colours that you can buy to help with that. As well as that theres software to make your whole screen any colour that you want, for windows its called ReadEZ and for mac its something like Overlays on the store.
    Crossbow education do the coloured note pads.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: May 24, 2016
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.