When you are blessed with perfect vision it is difficult to imagine what it must be like to have the ability to see clearly taken away from you. However, almost two million people in the UK live with sight loss and around 360,000 of these people have severe or irreversible loss of vision. Sadly, almost 50% of individuals with visual impairment feel cut off from people and things around them.
Although old age is the primary cause of vision loss, partial or full blindness can also be caused by:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- A chemical or gas entering the eye
- Head injuries
- A sharp object penetrating the eye
The grieving process
The physical trauma of losing some or all of your sight is only part of the story. The mental impact of such a life-altering condition on a person often goes unnoticed, leaving the victim feeling more alone and isolated than ever.
Whenever we lose something or someone that is important to us we naturally go through a grieving process. Our mind works through each stage of the process until we finally come to accept our new reality.
The five stages of grief are:
Fear is another emotion felt intensely by people with vision impairment. The ability to continue to provide for their family or loved ones, and participate in the normal, day to day activities that other people take for granted, can cause great anxiety and stress. And of course, the depravation of independence associated with vision loss can take a great deal of time to come to terms with.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help live with, and hopefully, one day, thrive despite vision loss.
Talk to people
It is vitally important that you keep the lines of communication open with your friends and loved ones. Remember, they are new to your situation to and may not be aware that you need help in a particular situation.You also need to tell them if you are feeling frustrated or angry because you cannot complete a certain task in the same way you used to and need some space to clear your head.
Don’t be afraid to ask shop workers or even strangers for assistance if you need it, most people are always delighted to help others but feel uneasy about offering initially in case they are re-buffed.
Organise your home
Have a bowl somewhere in your home where you place your keys, phone and wallet so you can always locate them when you need to leave the house. Get someone to help you cut different strokes on the labels of your clothes so you can identify outfitsby feeling the different cutting stroke on each label. Wrap an elastic band around your toothbrush so you can tell it apart from the rest of the family’s brushes. Fold different denominations of money in different ways so you can identify them quickly when you are in a shop.
There are many organisations that can assist you and offer tips, ideas and friendship so you do not feel so alone. Action For Blind People is a great place to start. It is also important to enlist in the help of family and friends. Through rehabilitation and support, your confidence and your ability to adapt to your ‘new normal’ will increase.
Claiming compensation from your employer
If your loss of vision has been caused by an accident at work, you may be entitled to claim compensation. You will need to show that your employer was negligent and this led to your eyesight being harmed.
At Russell Worth Solicitors, we can advise and represent you if you choose to make a claim for vision loss. Our experienced personal injury solicitors can organise independent medical examinations and call in expert witnesses to support your claim.
Our team offers ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements; therefore, if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not pay any legal fees (although you may be charged for disbursements).
Compensation provides the finances needed to make changes to your living arrangements, pay your bills if you are unable to work for a period, and fund rehabilitation to aid your recovery.
At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims. If you have suffered an injury as a result of an accident that was not your fault and would like a free claim assessment, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment or complete our Online Claim Assessment.