We celebrate the International Day of the Blind on November 13. It fell on the birthday of Valentin Haüy, a French pedagogue and educator of blind children. Among other things, he founded the first educational and training institute for the blind in Paris.
There are nearly 300 million people with severe visual impairment in the world, of which about 40 million people are completely blind. The question: “What do the blind see?” doesn’t have a single answer. There are different degrees of blindness. It also depends on whether or not the person could see before going blind. The claim that a blind person sees black is incorrect. Because a person who has been blind since birth has no other experience to compare it to. Many argue that it is more of a nothingness.
People who have lost their sight in the course of life have different experiences. Some claim to see complete darkness, as if they were in a cave. Others see sparks or experience visual hallucinations that may take the form of recognizable shapes and colors. Still others can perceive light, recognize when the lights are on or off.
Life with any visual impairment is more complicated in many ways. Therefore, it is important to be aware of and respect the needs of people with visual impairments and try to ease their difficult situation. At the Gemini Eye Clinics, we help improve the quality of vision of thousands of patients every year.
We even managed to restore vision to several dozen people after years of blindness. In 2004, chief surgeon Pavel Stodůlka, as one of the first surgeons in the world, performed an endothelial transplant using the DMEK method. This method is performed in the Czech Republic at only a few workplaces and also at the Gemini clinics. The procedure is outpatient and does not require general anesthesia. This is a corneal transplant from a donor, which the clinic supplies within its own tissue bank.
The second method of restoring people’s sight is the implantation of an artificial cornea, for example, it is carried out in an eye after severe chemical burns. However, the procedure cannot be performed on people who have been blind since birth or on people who have gone blind as a result of diabetes or glaucoma. The artificial cornea cannot help patients who have damaged optic nerve or retina.