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Coping with loss of night vision

Discussion in 'Diabetic Retinopathy' started by Bobbin, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Bobbin

    Bobbin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Due to retinopathy my night vision is terrible and I don't go out after dark unless I've someone with me I can link on to. Recently I had to go out on my own, just walking from and entrance to a building to a waiting taxi on my own and it made me realise how bad it is and that I really can't cope on my own.
    Any advice on how to cope with it and what I could do to improve things for myself?
     
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  2. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Sorry to hear about your problems @Bobbin, have you tried contacting the RNIB to see if they can offer any advice & support, here is a link to their website where you'll see their contact phone number in the left-hand corner:

    http://www.rnib.org.uk/

    Just one thing, if you find you see a halo around bright lights such as street lamps then anti-glare glasses may help, I know Specsavers do the anti-glare coatings.

    Best wishes.
     
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  3. Bobbin

    Bobbin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your reply.
    Yes, I sent an email off to them today. Feel a bit silly for doing so, my vision isn't near visually impaired; but depth perception and night vision are definitely affected and it's time I admitted I need help with that.
     
  4. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Don't feel silly, they support anyone who has sight issues.

    This website has a wealth of information on diabetic retinopathy, just searching on the site and found the following with some helpful tips on coping with poor vision:

    http://www.goodhopeeyeclinic.org.uk/poor sight pt 2-hints.htm
     
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  5. Caesar

    Caesar Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi @Bobbin not sure how much it'll really help but there are some natural compounds like lutein, typically found in green leafy veggies, which are claimed to improve night vision. You can find also supplements rich in those. Night vision is regulated by rod photocereptors in the retina. Have you had many laser treatments for your retinopathy? Those usually burn little portions of the retina in the periphery where rods are. But rod dysfunctions can be also linked to other, more easily solvable, conditions such as vitamin A deficiency or malabsorption. A dark adaptometry test and a specific blood check could confirm if it's all due to retinopathy.
     
  6. Bobbin

    Bobbin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hiya,

    As my regular optician put it last week, the hospital specialist has nuked the back of my eyes, lol. A lot of laser done to both eyes to prevent any bleeds (I think I had one or two minor ones previously, not sure). So I'm guessing it's all linked to that.
     
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  7. Caesar

    Caesar Type 1 · Active Member

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    Sorry to hear that :(
    I know that laser can have bad effects on the periphery of the retina, which I know is the portion mainly responsible for night vision. I usually suggest people on this forum to try the noctura sleep mask, which I found great. But I'm not sure whether this can be any useful in your case given that part of your retina has been literally removed by the laser burns. It may still worth asking the company that has developed the mask about your specific case. Hope this helps.
     
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  8. Bobbin

    Bobbin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'll look into that, thanks.
     
  9. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    Some people recommend a walking stick with a built-in light - the stick adds stability:- http://www.thestridelight.com/

    Also, it's worth trying to dim the lights at home for about 30 minutes or so before going out so that what night vision you have is well adapted. Explanation here:-
    http://www.ucalgary.ca/pip369/mod3/brightness/darkadaptation

    Full dark adaptation takes a surprisingly long time so wearing sunglasses during bright days can help night vision later.
     
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    #9 Dark Horse, Oct 4, 2016 at 7:44 PM
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  10. Bobbin

    Bobbin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link, that looks like it would be useful.
    My glasses tint with sunlight anyway, so I'm protected from bright sun with those.

    RNIB got back in contact with me and are referring me to the Sensory Support team at my local hospital. So hopefully they'll be able to give me some advice in how to cope and get around soon.
     
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  11. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Would those night driving glasses help at all?(The one with the yellow lenses)
     
  12. Bobbin

    Bobbin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've no idea, I've never worn them ( having never been a driver). I'm guessing they'd reduce dazzle when faced with bright lights in dark, but maybe not the lack being able to see much otherwise?
     
  13. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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  14. Bobbin

    Bobbin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  15. Bobbin

    Bobbin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Wee update.
    Been to see the sensory support services and they have given me a symbol cane to use when it's dark or a lot of glare (which also causes me issues). I have to get brave and go out trying to use it after dark a couple of times to see if it works for me. If I'm still struggling they can offer me more support. I'm thinking/hoping this will be enough to help me be a bit more independent.
     
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  16. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Moderator
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    Let us know how it goes.
     
  17. Bobbin

    Bobbin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Another update:
    Went to the low vision clinic today. They told me I've 5/6 visual acuity and that my contrast sensitivity isn't terrible, but is below normal. No visual field test, which surprised me considering theissue is night vision.

    She agreed that the symbol cane isn't sufficient for me at night and recommended i get back in contact with the sensory support team regarding a guide cane.

    I also got two different magnifiers to assist with different tasks, and advice regarding lighting inthe home.
     
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  18. MarkE

    MarkE Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    A few of us getting to your point, friend. Me included: I've had a lot of laser now in both eyes and my eyes take FOREVER to adapt between light levels these days, as well as occasionally losing all depth perception for hours at a time- likely because they are changing focus badly or some such.

    I'll confess to finding it all a tad terrifying at times.

    Hi ho...
     
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  19. Bobbin

    Bobbin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I know exactly what you mean about how long it can take for eyes to adapt to varying light levels etc. It is scary at times, and other times I feel silly about it because I'm sitting looking about me able to see (somewhat) perfectly well whilst talking about my need for a cane. But those times I need it, I really need it. Other times I think I can see just fine, then misjudge a step/kerb and stumble.

    It is scary; but I appreciate how much more sight I've got compared to a lot of other people, and I take time to enjoy what I can see now. Cos who knows if/when I might lose what I've got! Keep strong!
     
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