eye (in)sights

February 5 | 2014

image 100% eyesight | design by pxlgirlimage | 100% eyesight | distance: 50cm/19.5 inch

this is how the teapot in the image above would look like for most normally sighted people. No one is able to imagine what it’s like to have low vision, it’s difficult to explain and all eyesight emulators I’ve seen so far weren’t accurate. It appears that low vision means blurry vision, which is not always the case, unless it’s a specific symptom. Determining eyesight isn’t an easy task though, it depends on so many factors. First, there are thousands of eye diseases, which manifests itself differently in every individual. Another crucial aspect are the conditions such lighting, contrast, color, distance, visual field, 3D/2D vision and much more. In order to demonstrate a small fraction of how a visually impaired would see the world, I have taken myself as an example. To make things easier, I spared you the medical terms:

 one eye only, short-sighted, with correction up to 20%, without 5%
 visual field disorder up to 35° (90° for normally sighted on each side)
•no 3D-vision
• not colorblind
• nightblind

Again, keep in mind that a slight change in conditions would produce a different outcome. The first two images below are showing how I see the teapot on a computer screen during daylight with correction (20%) and without (5%):

image 20% eyesight | design by pxlgirlimage | 20% eyesight | distance: 50cm/19.5 inch

image 5% eyesight | design by pxlgirlimage | 5% eyesight | distance: 50cm/19.5 inch

The next set of images demonstrates how much distance alone can influence the vision, by increasing it a bit. You now might get an idea how objects are seen in everyday life:

image: 20% eyesight/100cm distance | design by pxlgirlimage | 20% eyesight | distance: 100cm/39.3 inch

image 5% eyesight/100cm distance | design by pxlgirlimage | 5% eyesight | distance: 100cm/39.3 inch

In order to be able to see all the details, a normally sighted person can catch at first sight looking at the original image, the next two images show how close I have to go so I can see them. Due to my visual field disorder, I am only able to capture a part of the whole object. Most now might understand that I have to stick my nose to almost everything in order to see it.

image closeup | 5% eyesight | distance: 5cm/1.9 inch

image closeup 20% eyesight | design by pxlgirlimage closeup 20% eyesight | distance: 10cm/3.9 inch

I often have to use the zoom function (built-in on Mac OS X), in order to capture details and/or read. The bigger the zoom, the smaller becomes the visible area of the screen. As a result, I have trouble processing bigger amounts of text. However, when I’m drawing, sculpting or working, I do not wear any glasses or contacts, so effectively I’m pushing pxls with an eyesight of 5%.

image source: stock.xchng

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