2 million people live with sight loss. Are you one of them?

Some people are born blind, but for most people sight loss or blindness can occur later. Around 340,000 people in the UK are registered as being blind or partially sighted.

Being told you have a visual impairment that can’t be treated can be difficult to come to terms with. Some people go through a process like bereavement, where they can experience a range of emotions including shock, anger, and denial. Acceptance of their condition can be a long process. 

Changes to your home 

Most visually impaired people can continue to live at home. However, you’ll probably need to make changes to your home, particularly if you live on your own, for example: 

  • Communication devices such as big button telephones, adaptations or specifically designed computers, smartphones or tablets can make a big difference 

  • The introduction of a community alarm – a small, wearable device that has an alarm button which, if pressed, sends an alarm signal to a response centre, which will alert a nominated friend or carers. 

  • Installing bright lighting 

Making reading and writing easier 

There are several options available if you’re having problems reading standard text in books, newspapers and magazines: 

  • A magnifying device can make print appear larger and more legible 

  • Large print publications can be easier to read 

  • An e-reader will read text out loud to you  

  • Audio recordings or audio books can give you access to a whole world of books 


Some people with severe sight loss, particularly those who’ve had the problem from a young age, choose to learn an alternative writing system. Braille is such a system where raised dots are used as a substitute for written letters. A code based on six dots, arranged in two columns of three dots, there are 63 possible combinations of the dots used to represent the alphabet and numbers. The characters are designed to be read using your fingers rather than eyes. 

If you are blind or partially sighted, or you support someone who is, here are some links providing more information about Braille: 

Connecting with people with similar challenges to you 

If you’re blind or partially sighted, you may find it helpful to contact a support group and meet other people with vision loss. 


The RNIB is the UK's leading charity for people with vision loss. The RNIB website offers useful information, such as coming to terms with sight loss

Their helpline is open weekdays from 8am to 8pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm. You can reach them on 0303 123 9999 or email them helpline@rnib.org.uk 

Other places to find support and information  

There are many charities who may be able to help you, or offer information. Check out a few here. 


Do you live with sight loss? 

How easy is it to attend NHS appointments? Do you get any support from social care? 

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