IRL

People Who Could See And Then Went Blind Reveal What It's Like

Once I was blind.... and NOW I see....

Seeing is a gift. Most of us feel that the sense of sight is a given. But so many people lose the ability to see, which is tragic. Being able to see then suddenly not is a hell unto itself, whether permanent or temporary. IaF you're reading this.... BE GRATEFUL!!

Redditor u/HiddenLayer5 wanted to hear from those who have lost their gift of sight by asking... People who could see but went blind, what's it like? Is it like being in perpetual darkness or something else?


Just One...

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I lost an eye as a child. It is not darkness, it is nothing. What do you see with your elbow? That's what I see with my prosthetic eye. Noctudeit

The Darkness...

Oh, I can answer this. I had some neurological issues when I was younger. Once or twice this resulted in a brief but total loss of vision because my brain stopped processing the input from my eyes or something along those lines.

It's nothing. You don't see darkness. It's just nothing. Best way to describe it would be like you're trying to see out of your kneecap. There's nothing to see because your kneecap isn't sending information about sight to your brain. Or it's like asking you to tell me how I look in the infrared spectrum right now. There's no real words to describe the sensation of lacking a sensation, because it's an oxymoron.

Keep in mind too that there's different kind of blindness. What I described is probably similar to the experiences of people who were born blind because of issues with their nervous system. Other people can go blind due to degeneration of the mechanics of the eye itself, which I'd bet is much different. American_Phi

I'm Going Blind! 

Someone legally blind, not going blind ...

I have several friends who are going blind, and they seem to fall in to two camps.

  1. Their brain tries to fill in the blanks in their blind spots, and it's just a lightly blurred section that they know not to trust.
  2. It's just blank, as if nothing is there, light or dark. They can't perceive anything particular there, as it's beyond their ability to see anything there. BARDLover

The 20/60 Issue....

I am legally blind in my left eye. It is a problem with how my eyes lined up as a kid, and my brain decided to ignore my left eye. I wore a patch off and on as a kid and had vision as good as 20/60 before it progressively got worse. I honestly hardly notice it. I had a pretty distinguished career in the military despite it, including shooting top gun often. I always felt bad because I could never do drills some people could, such as shooting with non-dominant hand, at least without some awkward head lean, I suppose.

Given that it is one eye, I just experience the world crystal clear with my right eye. When I got metal in that eye, I drove to the hospital, and it was incredibly brutal. I could see the red of a light, but couldn't really gauge distance. Dhoy1

Look Forward.....

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Stare at a wall. Now try to look out of the back of your head without moving an inch. All that nothing behind the headband of your vision is what they see. Nothing. polyjeans

The Kink....

I've always suffered from severe short sight. Then when I was pregnant with my youngest child I was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration. It manifested as a "kink" in my vision. So (in the one eye I can sort of see out of, the other is redundant due to an extremely severe astigmatism) there's this kink in the world now. The world I see anyway.

I've also been diagnosed with cataracts which means my sight is now like looking through a fog. It can be hugely frustrating. I can't read to my children anymore and that breaks my heart. I'll be having surgery to remove the cataracts in the next couple of months.

I've just been registered as disabled due to my sight loss. This hit me hard. Really hard. I've always been independent and having to ask my 4 year old which bus is coming (amongst other things) is a bitter pill to swallow. So, I see a kind of kinky fog right now. I don't know what will happen when I lose my sight entirely. I do know that the thought of it is utterly terrifying. Lilasskicker123

Migraines....

I'm seeing a lot of total blindness answers, so I'll provide my experience....

I experience ocular migraines related to inflammation surrounding one of my ocular nerves. When I get the migraines, I lose all peripheral vision in one eye and can only see pinpoint in that eye for about 20 minutes and then I'm sick in bed for at least a day. What I do see aside from the pinpoint, is this lightening-strike zig zag that slowly moves across my field of vision, and blurred colors in the peripheral field. My brain doesn't want to really process what colors I see, though.... its weird. scoobledooble314159

The Flicker....

Ok, so my eyes are screwed up in a weird way.. I can't see thing that flicker fast, like under florescent lights. this means I'm effectively blind in most grocery stores. for .me, it's weird as hell I either see blinding white that's so bright I HAVE to close my eyes to dim it, or it's as dark as if the lights were off (Walmarts are 'fun' because there's little to no other light sources) so for me, it's a near daily experience going from sighted to non-sighted and all the fun that ensues with that. gartral

Looking for Anything....

Sort of transient blindness I guess that some might find interesting. I get severe migraines with an atypical visual disturbance (aura). Instead of squiggly lines and such, I lose parts of, or all of my vision. Things like tunnel vision or missing spots of my vision are most interesting to describe.

With those, I don't see blackness around a point like looking out a tunnel, or black spots in my vision. Instead, it's like there is no data there. I actually struggle to identify where my blind spots exactly are in my field of view, until I specifically notice it blocking something I'm trying to look at (difficult if it's not in the exact centre). With the tunnel vision, even then it's hard to tell when it's happening. Whenever I suspect it might be happening, I have to hold a finger up with my arm outstretched, looking forward. Then, continuing looking forward, I'll move it out of my line of sight and work out when I can't see it anymore.

Maybe the best comparison (though still not ideal) I could make for people who haven't experienced anything like it is to consider the blind spot that your nose blocks. Our brain filters out the nose, but we don't see a great big black spot, there's just no information there. LindLin

Trauma...

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I suffered from a brief bout of blindness after head trauma.

I could sort of see, but it was more like looking through a kaleidoscope. Everything was a blurry blob of color without a defined start or end--everything just blended together. Like, if you unfocus your eyes and cross them, that's a very rough idea of what I was seeing (or, not seeing).

I don't remember what the exact term is for this specific type of vision loss (it was 7 years ago and I was rather concussed), but, if permanent, it is indeed classed as blindness. murrimabutterfl

Rise Up. 

I'm not entirely blind, but I'm blind in my right as a result of cancer.

There are days it becomes my biggest weakness. I can drive fine, hold down a job fine. But some days I walk in to table corners, bang my elbow on stuff etc, Or hell my fiancé pointed out the sodas I was looking for at Walmart the other day after I had walked past them 3 times, because they were on my right side.

I privately admit defeat a lot because of it, unfortunately. mattymattrick

Passport please. 

I don't know about blindness, but eye migraines are a trip. Like really, it makes everything look like Im on acid. And I get blind spots in my vision. It's not painful at all, just really weird. The first time it happened I legit thought I was losing my vision. -ThunderGunExpress

Dark in the Dark. 

I lost my site when I was 13. Yeah I guess it's just like being in the dark all the time… Although it's been so long I don't quite remember anymore how being in the dark when you could still see is like. browneye54

Close your eyes....

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It's hard to comprehend but in most cases you just see nothing. Close your eyes and try to see out of the back of your head. You can't. DickManning

Fade in and Out....

When I was younger and the weather was hot I would lose my vision for about 15 seconds every time I stood up quickly. I was so used to it that I would stand up at the end of class spot my path and start walking, my vision would tunnel out quickly to complete blindness (I perceived this for some reason as grey but could see nothing) my vision would fade in from a sort of static after about 5-10 seconds. I just used sound and touch to navigate. pounded_rivet

A kick! 

I'm vision impaired from Uveitis that kicked in when I was 26.

My eyesight is like looking through a fly screen, black dots and floaters everywhere.

Also, due to how often people say "BUT YOU CAN'T BE BLIND IF YOU'RE USING REDDIT" whenever I post about eyesight: https://old.reddit.com/r/Blind/comments/55wzgp/how_do_blind_people_use_reddit/ SunnyLego

Sharp Objects....

Pretty sharp vision but an issue with my spinal fluid pressure causes stress on my retinal nerve, leading to an enlarged blind spot. Most people don't notice theirs, but it's like a tiny black hole in my vision, even to the point it's edges distort things like one ( AKA if I'm in a car looking at the street lines and the line goes through my blind spot, it looks like the line curves around the edge.) you don't see black which is why you don't notice it unless you focus on it. It's a really interesting sensation once you learn how to find yours, and you watch objects disappear moving into it. Crezelle

All I See....

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I think it's different for each individual.

For me, I just see a mix of black, brown, gray, white and more rarely but sometimes everything from red to yellow. RealNicklasMCHD

Premature....

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I was born with 6 months instead of 9.

In the 90's in some small city in Brazil we didn't have laser surgery so i did my eye surgery with criogeny, my retina detached and my left eye is blind

Its basically like there is nothing because your eye is shut off from your brain. Anni01

Okay-ish...

Oh, I can answer this one. I was normal, and then legally blind, and now I'm ok-ish. I was diabetic (a whole other story) and got diabetic retinopathy. My one eye which was worse was like trying to look through a running lava lamp. Just whirls and spots of color and black. Un_creative_name

REDDT

Who else wants to see again?

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Your local police officer likely doesn't care about jaywalking or the fact that you went five miles over the speed limit unless you give him a reason to, as we learned when Redditor Takdel asked police officers: "What stupid law have you enforced just because someone was an a-hole?"

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