Inquiry Question: What are the impacts of being born blind compared to losing sight later on in life?
In my second round of research, I will be looking into the physical and emotional impacts of losing sight later on in life.
“Vision loss affects more than one’s ability to see the world clearly” . Sudden vision loss can be devastating not only to the person with vision impairments, but also to close family members . Sudden vision loss can be a life-changing event that changes a person’s perspective of themselves, of others, and the world .
People who lose sight later in life will experience the feelings of loss, grief, helplessness, hopelessness, and fear . They may experience panic and confusion, making it difficult to make rational decisions . When adjusting to vision loss, people may experience insomnia, loss of appetite, aggression, anger, irritability, and restlessness . They may also feel overwhelmed and start to wonder about their ability to maintain independence and provide for themselves and their family . It can negatively affect their mental health, employment, and educational attainment . Losing sight later in life will cause restrictions in their independence and mobility
. It can cause one’s quality of life to worsen as they will not be able to perform their basic self care routine easily such as eating, getting dressed, shopping, and managing medication . It can also affect someone’s performing tasks that require ambulation in challenging places like walking in crowded streets and driving . As well as affect one’s casual activities such as reading, pursuing hobbies, and socialization .
Due to challenges, older adults with visual impairments will more likely require long-term care . Vision loss has been associated to increase in fractures from falling. As well as have a higher risk for anxiety, depression, and many other physiological problems . Overall, consequences of vision loss often have a negative impact on quality of life.
I found a case study on Linda who experiences vision loss. In the case study it explores a little about what Linda feels while she is dealing with sudden vision loss.
Linda’s case study of experiencing sudden vision loss:
Linda is a single fifty-year-old who worked as a designer. Linda had glaucoma, but her vision started to deteriorate. So for the first few counselling sessions Linda took, she talked about her losses and frustrations since her sudden vision loss. Linda admits that she goes out less, feels lonely, and isolated. Linda’s mood is usually low and feels depressed, and feels fearful of the future .
It is common for people who lose sight later in their life to feel blame in relation to anger. Having to adjust to vision loss can be difficult and exhausting as it is an active process .
In my first round of research when I was researching the impacts of being born blind, I came upon an article that talks about how blind people from birth use their visual brain area to improve their other senses. I thought I would share this information in the second round of research. Being born blind reroutes the brain to other sensory inputs that are unused portions of the brain . People
born blind have a much stronger and activated visual cortex than people who are sighted . Visual cortex receives, integrates, and processes visual information . It is in the occipital lobe of the brain which is responsible for vision . Everything the eyes react to will become processed and understood . The visual cortex in people who can see is mostly deactivated .
This tells that the visual cortex in blind people takes those functions and processes sounds and tactile information in which people who are sighted do not . Since the visual cortex is more strongly activated in people who are blind, the results in the possibility that these senses could be potentially harnessed in some way to aid the blind their world .
In my third round of research, I will be diving into the different learning styles in both those who are born blind and for those who lose sight later in life. As well as the discriminations that are faced for their disability (ableism).
That is all I have for my second round of research! Thank you for reading and I look forward to reading everyone else’s second round of research!
https://blog.mindvalley.com/function-of-occipital-lobe/ (second image)