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Visual impairments

People with visual impairments are sometimes known as blind or partially sighted. The more modern term is sight impaired or severely sight impaired. Sight loss can be caused by a variety of conditions such as:

  • macular degeneration
  • glaucoma
  • diabetes
  • cataracts
  • visual cortex disorder
  • genetic defects or an injury

Many people who live with sight impairment experience different levels of sight loss. Some people are only able to determine lights or shapes, while others may experience blurred vision. Another effect of sight impairment is having no sight in the centre of the eye or no side vision.

Some people may have some useful sight but may find it difficult at night. It is uncommon for someone to have no vision at all even if the person is registered blind.

Eye strain and headaches are also a common side effect of living with sight impairment.

Useful Contacts & Information


The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RINIB) is the largest charity for people with sight loss. You can find lots of useful information around sight loss, along with practical support.

Guide Dogs UK Charity Logo

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association provides guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services to meet the needs of blind and sight impaired people.

Macular Society Logo

The Macular Disease Society is a charity for people with macular disease, offering support, advice and information.

SignLive Logo

Dead-owned & deaf-led, SignLive remove barriers and allows on demand BSL. You can also access a community directory to hundreds of organisations completely free of charge.

Kent Association for the Blind Logo

Kent Association for the Blind supports sight impaired people in Kent. 

Last updated: 09/03/2023