Seeing what your future holds

Anyone who has ever had an eye test will probably have had to wear heavy glasses and read some letters from a chart. This may have seemed like a game at the time but eye tests are really important.

Can you imagine having to get dressed with your eyes closed? What about complicated tasks like tying your shoe lace or dangerous things like cutting vegetables without being able to see what you were doing?

It sounds really difficult but some people face this problem every day. About 2,000,000 people in the UK are blind or partially sighted which makes it a big problem. Some people are born with eye problems so it is important to have regular eye tests as a child but as we get older our vision starts to get worse. This means the number of people who have problems seeing is going to get bigger.

You can find out some of the facts behind eye problems here:
http://www.rnib.org.uk/aboutus/Research/statistics/Pages/statistics.aspx

Not everyone who has eye problems is completely blind; there are many different problems people have. Needing glasses is very common, so is being colour blind, for instance 7% of men have difficulty telling the difference between red and green.

It is difficult to imagine how hard everyday tasks become when you can’t see properly and it can be very rewarding doing a job helping people with any sort of disability. Some examples to look at might include:

  • An optometrist – doing our eye tests. If we have difficulty seeing they can give us glasses to help.
  • scientist – looking at why our eyes develop problems in the first place. What they find helps us look for a cure.
  • An occupational therapist – working with patients to help them live a normal life despite their disability. They teach people how to use gadgets when they have problems seeing or how to use braille to read.
  • guide dog trainer – training the dogs that can be given to people with eye problems to help them find their way around safely.
  • An orthoptist – treating eye problems. They use medicines or surgery to try to improve the vision of their patients.