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Visual Impairment

Visual impairments are one of the most common causes of disability in the world - worldwide there are over 40 million blind or visually impaired people. It is a common misperception that people are either born blind or have suffered an accident in which they became blind, this is not the case. 4 out every 5 persons with visually impairment are over the age of 75; 1 in 10 persons over the age of 50 will be affected by age related macular degeneration

These are just some of the common visual impairments: 

Macular degeneration

Macular Degeneration This condition causes a loss of vision in the centre of the eye. Reading, writing and up-close work can become difficult. 

The person may have some side vision so they usually will be able to see to move about.

It is a more common cause of sight loss among older people.


GlaucomaA person with glaucoma may experience loss of side vision.

Early onset glaucoma causes a subtle loss of contrast, for example, difficulties with seeing steps on a stairs or the kerb on the pavement. 

There may be a small central area where the person can still see to read and do up close work but side vision has been lost.

This is also called tunnel vision.

Detached Retina

Detached Retina
Detached retina will result in a loss of vision where the retina has been damaged.

A person’s retina may detach for many reasons.

Retinal detachment is more common among middle aged people and short sighted people.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy
This condition causes a partial blurring of vision or patchy loss of vision.

Near vision may reduce and a person may have difficulty with up close reading.

Cataracts make things look blurred and misty. Some people may have double vision.

Colours may become dulled and the person may see little detail.

People with cataracts can be very sensitive to light and glare.

A cataract is a clouding of part of the eye called the lens. A person’s vision blurs or becomes dim because light cannot pass through the clouded lens to the back of the eye.


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