The question gets asked. People wonder about what I can see, what my vision is like. I use a white cane, but I wear glasses, too. I confuse people. The short answer: I’m blind in one eye, low vision in the other.
What does that mean?
It means on my blind side: I have no visual information there, no light perception, no shadows, nothing.
For the eye with low vision, that’s trickier. At my last eye exam, I tested 20/60 on the chart. But I should qualify that.
My peripheral vision is a bit dodgy due to the laser treatments over the years. And, the silicone oil–implanted in the posterior chamber of my eye to hold my retina in place–also creates a distortion, glare issues, and light sensitivity depending on my environment. It’s like looking at a fish tank. Sometimes the colorful Nemos swimming around and the plants and castle and rocks are identifiable, sometimes reflections get in the way and I can’t trust what I see to be accurate.
Seeing with only one eye means poor depth perception. What I perceive to be a flat surface might be a step, I can misjudge things.
Weather conditions and environment factors affect how strong or weak my eye perceives light to be. One day I might see clearly, the next day in the same location with different conditions, I might have a difficult time perceiving, feeling like I’m in a fog. Annoying for me, but confusing for those who know about my vision impairment. They’re surprised when I can’t see something I’ve noticed before and the reverse.
The kicker is this: everyone who has a visual impairment sees differently. Some people have tunnel vision, but the vision remaining is clear. Some people have blind spots. Some people only have the use of one eye. Some people have light perception but distorted color perception. Some people have night blindness. Some people were born with a visual impairment, some acquired it. For some, vision loss stabilizes, others are continuing to endure gradual loss of sight. It varies.
How about you? What’s your vision like? Has it changed?