Responses to newly diagnosed vision loss

The purpose of this page is to talk about some emotional responses to the onset of vision loss, which have been described to us by many clients. You may or may not relate to everything that is mentioned as individuals react differently.

Introduction

Losing vision can be a very lonely and confusing experience. Our clients tell us frequently that they wonder whether their reaction is normal. They are often also interested in how other people manage in similar situations.

Accepting the vision loss

When you first learnt that your vision was deteriorating your first thoughts may have been "no, not me this cannot be happening to me!"

For most people it usually comes as a big shock. People tell us that it was difficult to accept the diagnosis and they went to several eye specialists hoping for a different opinion.

Many people hope for a cure and are very disappointed when one is not available and some tried a variety of alternative therapies during this search.

It is not uncommon to feel tearful, restless and alone at such a time and to feel that no one can really understand how you are feeling.

Adjusting to vision loss

For many this is a very confusing time. You may experience 'good' and 'bad' days: on a good day life may not seem quite so changed. But on others, particularly if you are tired or not feeling well, you may notice you are having far more difficulties than normal.

Adjusting to vision loss can be very demanding. Some people tell us they, tire very easily in these early stages. It can be difficult to maintain motivation to continue every day activities as they can require so much more effort. Other people describe feeling so upset that they have trouble sleeping.

Vision loss is a unique experience

Vision loss is a unique experience; you probably have not experienced anything like this before or have had anything to prepare you for this. To some people vision loss and blindness have a lot of stigma attached to them and inaccurate myths and ideas can still influence our thinking.

In our society many people have the idea that people who are blind or vision impaired cannot live independently. It can be very frightening at first and many people experience a lot of doubt and insecurity and lose confidence in doing normal daily tasks.

Reducing the impact of vision loss

What if someone were to say to you that it is possible to learn other ways of doing things without relying on your vision? Dialling the telephone, going out for a walk, gardening, making hot drinks are just a few examples of things that in the beginning can cause problems but can be overcome. There is separate information available from Vision Australia on ways to accomplish many common daily tasks.

Vision Australia’s services

Vision Australia services are available to people with varying degrees of vision. We commonly work with people who have some remaining vision and learn to use it effectively in their daily life.

People have told us that they feel doubtful about contacting Vision Australia if they have some vision and for some they may even have felt guilt in doing so. In fact nearly all clients of Vision Australia have some vision and many can learn to use this well for various purposes.

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