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What Do I Need To Know When Losing My Vision?

 
 
A blind runner and his guide sharing a rope at the Paralympic Games.
 

In the majority of instances, loss of vision often creeps up on us unexpectedly and nine out of 10 times we are simply not prepared when we are faced with it. If we are lucky we may be able to halt the progression of loss of vision or we may be able to slow its progress but in any case, there are definite steps that we can follow when we realize that we are losing our vision.

The first thing to keep in mind is that loss of vision can happen at any time. There is no particular age at which loss of vision can take place; from as early as birth to as old as ninety-two and beyond. The second thing to keep in mind is that loss of vision can occur due to any number of reasons; anything from an eye disease to a genetic circumstance.

Yes! Vision loss will definitely change your life style, the way you do things, and how you are perceived by others but no! It is definitely not the end of the world and you can certainly continue to live a happy and healthy life after you have made the changes to accommodate your loss of vision.

There are lawyers, entrepreneurs, IT professionals, journalists, broadcasters, customer service reps, teachers, psychologists, and many others with various types of careers who are persons with vision loss that enjoy very fulfilling careers. There are persons with vision loss who own homes, travel wherever they want, enjoy the theatre and dining out and their loss of vision does not prevent them from enjoying it all!

There are parents with vision loss who do not allow their lack of vision to keep them from raising happy families. There are persons with vision loss who participate in both professional as well as leisure sports. Technology has made it possible for all of this to happen and attitudes are improving. The world could still be yours even though your vision is not up to par.

No reason for you not to continue to cook up a storm in your kitchen! No reason for you not to be able to use an i device or surf the Internet! No reason for you to give up your favorite hobby of wood working or gardening! All that matters is that you can still do what you used to do but now you need to use and develop new ways to do it.

In short, there is nothing to prevent you from leading a normal life if you are experiencing or have experienced a loss of vision. Of course! There are some things that you won't be able to do but you know what? That's quite okay! This will be your chance to discover new things and tell others about your discoveries! Your opportunity to become the teacher and the leader instead of the student or the follower!

Here are some resources to help you:

The Hadley School for the Blind offers a series of free audio recordings available on CD that provide seniors with the tips and tricks needed to continue living well with low vision. It appears these cannot be downloaded or streamed, though:
http://lowvisionfocus.org/lvf.asp

Organizations across the United States that can help you to adapt to your new environment:
http://www.nfb.org
http://www.acb.org
http://www.afb.org

Online stores:
http://www.maxiaids.com
http://www.independentlivingaids.com

Other international organizations for persons with vision loss:
Britain: http://www.rnib.org
Canada: http://www.cnib.ca

United In Stride is a tool for uniting visually impaired runners and sighted guides. Both, from anywhere in the US, should register on the site, so that those wishing to run can find guides to assist:
http://unitedinstride.com/

 
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