When you see a blind person wearing sunglasses, the question of why comes to mind. People who can’t see tend to attract lots of attention if they have nothing covering their eyes. Granted, this is one of the reasons for adorning sunglasses but there are more important ones beyond aesthetics.
Without further ado, here are 5 reasons blind people wear sunglasses.
Similar to a healthy individual with a good set of eyes, a visually impaired person puts on sunglasses in order to shield their eyes from the sun. When exposed to the sun for long periods of time, the UV rays of the sun have the potential to wreak havoc on the eyes. The most common symptoms of UV damage are cornea inflammation, ocular cancer (certain forms of it), and cataracts.
It is easy to think that a blind person doesn’t suffer from the effects of the sun because well, their vision is impaired anyways. However, they can feel pain from the symptoms just as much as a normal person would.
A blind individual doesn’t have the ability to know whether the sun is coming on too strong or not. It is therefore essential for them to keep their eyes protected from the sun at all times.
There are two types of sunglasses used for UV protection—those that reduce the strength of ambient light thereby blocking UV rays and those that shield the eye from specific colors that are sensitive to it. A blind person can choose one from another depending on their needs.
Protection From Physical Dangers
Another very important reason why blind people need sunglasses is to keep their eyes shielded from everyday physical objects. These include tree branches, flying pieces of paper, dust, a moving closet door, etc. Imagine having to bend down to open a kitchen cupboard with no eyes to perceive what you are doing. It is pretty easy to have an accident and injure your eye.
Normal people can tell when an object is too close to the eye and consequently find a way to keep the object from hurting the eye. You can close your eyes by instinct to keep the object away from your eyes, duck, or block it with your hands. When your eyes don’t function, it is virtually impossible to know what’s coming right at your eye. Wearing sunglasses is the only way to be sure that no matter what hits the eye, it shall not do much harm to it.
Unknown to many, not all visually impaired people are totally blind. If the American Foundation for the Blind stats is anything to go by, a legally blind person is referred to as one with a visual acuity of less or equal to 20/200. This refers to a visual degree of less or equal to 20 degrees. In short, a person diagnosed with legal blindness still has some vision. Granted, some don’t see anything at all.
For those who are blind with a tiny field of vision, wearing specialized sunglasses increases the vision to some extent. The glasses are designed to help the person interpret details and focus better.
Blind people often walk around with a walking cane to let people know of their presence. Some also use sunglasses for this very reason. Doing this makes it easy for them to navigate their way in crowded places with ease. Otherwise, they’d have to keep announcing to everyone of their blindness if they didn’t have anything to do the talking for them. Besides convenience, wearing sunglasses also acts as a safety mechanism for the person as well as others around them.
To Make Others Comfortable Around Them
Most (if not all) blind people use sunglasses to make others feel easy around them. It is human nature to feel empathetic for a person with any disability. While this is a good feeling to have towards a visually impaired individual, it can easily cause you to act differently around them.
In the end, the person suffers for not connecting with others just because of their disability. To protect them from having to deal with that, most decide to cover their eyes completely. This also helps them to not attract too much attention during conversations. The person talking can keep their gaze on the dark sunglasses rather than keep guessing where to look the entire time.
Being blind is no mean feat. The world still expects you to do the same chores including going to the grocery store, using the bus, walking in high-traffic areas, you name it. While you can’t do much to change the inevitable, you can try to make life a little more hassle-free for you by wearing sunglasses. That way, you will keep your eyes safe from the UV rays and physical objects, make people feel at ease around you, boost your vision, and enhance your convenience.