In my last post, I promised to share some information about the types of complementary or alternative health therapies I feel might be helpful for blind and partially sighted people. If you remember I suggested that vision impaired people use these therapies because most practitioners work with clients from a holistic point of view.
A common complaint from visually impaired people is that they get spoken ‘about’ and not ‘to’. Sighted people often get in a fluster around us! One example is grabbing someones arm and leading them somewhere they don’t want to go (yes a real example!). Is this fear or simply ignorance, I’d say a mixture of both.
There is no doubt that blindness or partial sight resulting from an eye condition like Glaucoma, Age Related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy (the leading causes of blindness in the UK), are serious enough for anyone to get flustered about.
According to research carried out by the Royal National Institute for the Blind, the leading charity that supports people with sight loss, sight is the nation’s most precious sense, with 78% of people interviewed in a research study saying sight was the sense they most fear losing.
However, the ‘fear of blindness’ reaction naturally comes with some concerns – not what you might think. Ironically the fear of losing sight makes us act in the reverse, such as avoiding routine eye checks and examinations! In the same study, respondents said they often ignored the first signs of sight loss; 23% of people did not seek advice from an optician or medical profession when they felt their eye sight changed significantly.
‘Fear of blindness’ keeps us in a kind of panic mode, whilst we grapple with thoughts about losing sight we ignore changes in our eyes and run for the hills or act out of impulse when we see a white cane! Above all those of us who are blind or partially sighted are left to face the consequences of what sight loss means, in reality! Although there is plenty of help out there for us, finding it at first can be difficult and confusing. It is no wonder that a study in 2016 found nearly half of blind people going through low vision clinics suffered with depression!
This is why I am passionate about combating the fear we ALL surround ourselves with about blindness and partial sight by using mindfulness. Did you know fear can do harm to not just our mind, but also our immune system. Please join my mailing list to keep up to date with the debate about ‘fear of blindness’, meditations and much more!