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How do vision-impaired people view the world?

Published on 15 Sept 2022

It can be hard to imagine how things appear to blind or partially sighted people.

Many people suffering from sight loss still have some vision left, but their view may be limited or obscured in certain ways. The videos on this page will give you an idea of what it's like to live with sight loss.

Remember, every vision-impaired person's experience is different. People can lose their sight in a variety of ways, whether it's through injury or illness. Even those with the same condition can have different symptoms. These clips – from the US-based National Eye Institute – are just an example of how things can appear to those with sight loss. 

Age-related macular degeneration

This disease causes blurriness or spots in the centre of your vision.


Cataracts cause the lens of your eye to become cloudy. It can feel like you're looking through dirty glass. 

Diabetic retinopathy

This condition can cause sight loss in people with diabetes. Those with diabetic retinopathy may have blurry vision and see floaters, which are dark spots that move around in their field of vision.   


Glaucoma damages the optic nerve at the back of the eye, causing vision loss. One of the first signs of the condition is the loss of peripheral vision, or what you see from the sides of your eyes. 

Always ask if you’re unsure of something 

There’s no such thing as a silly question. If you are a Blind Veterans UK beneficiary and need more information, call our helpline on 0300 111 22 33.

If you are not yet a Blind Veterans UK beneficiary, you can find more information in our urgent help section. 

You can also get advice about sight loss from the RNIB. Contact the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999, email them or say ‘Alexa, call RNIB helpline’ to an Alexa-enabled device.

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