Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How do I see?

It's probably one of the most common questions people with albinism get. The trouble is, how would you (if you're a person with normal vision) describe how you see? I have nothing to compare with to explain my vision. Once, I was told that our lack of being able to see detail was like looking at the world through a 1950s TV (without the black and white). People with normal vision have the latest and greatest high definition TVs. It sort of makes sense. 

Parents often comment about how amazed they are that their child saw one thing, but not another. I can't explain it except to say there are tricks of the trade that you just learn over time. For example, if something drops (like a toy) I might hear it, and thus know where to look. It might appear I saw it when I didn't. I've been known to find booboos in knitting and cross stitch that surprise people. The trick, I always look for patterns. I do it and I don't even realize it. I might not be able to see the small detail, but I might be able to see that the overall pattern is off. 

Recently, a friend of mine from Australia (we know each other from the Internet) made a video to explain her vision. She notes, as will I, that not everyone with albinism sees the same way or has the same problems to the same degree. My own brother and I are a perfect example. He is able to use bioptics when he watches TV. My nystagmus is worse. When I've tried bioptics, the far away image sort of floats by my vision. I'm unable to control when or how it does it. Not terribly useful for me! Grin! Here it comes and there it goes....

Several years ago I saw another such video made by two other people that have albinism. Honestly, they must see better than I do because several things they pointed out as not an issue for someone with albinism are very much an issue for me. 

Thus, this won't speak to everyone's experience, but it's the best explanation I've seen to explain my vision, why I choose to use a cane (especially outside) etc. 

You can find it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrqdFKs2Hzw

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