Author Topic: Night-blindness - old lessons re-learnt  (Read 483 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Night-blindness - old lessons re-learnt
« on: 23 Oct 2022 05:33PM »
As some of you may know/remember, in the past I went 'night-blind' to the extent of needing a white cane in daytime except in very bright summer light or in very brightly lit places like some supermarkets and hospitals.  Then I realised the problem was to do with the functioning of my pancreas, spoke with my GP, started taking lots of vitamin A, and stopped using my white cane.  Before I used the white cane, I used to use a torch.

However, my night vision is worsening again.  Well that's common as we grow older anyway, and where I live, the usual urban night pollution has gone.  So I've started using a torch when out after dark.

I had a lovely encounter with a small group of youngsters outside a takeaway who saw me with the torch held just in front of me pointed downwards at the pavement.  "Have you lost something?"  "Only my night vision.  Have you seen it anywhere?"  We exchanged a few more light comments.

It's only been about a week, maybe two, since I started doing it, and to begin with, I turned the torch on and off depending on light from streetlamps, cars, security lights etc.

Then I remembered how wonderful stuff like this is for getting people to be more considerate and understanding.  I'm afraid that I have now used it about six times to make a point about inconsiderate pavement parking.  Approach the vehicle, shielding my eyes from the headlights (which I often do anyway after dark) flick my torch upwards at the inadequate gap between vehicle and hedge or whatever, exaggerate my caution as I step down off the pavement and walk along the road until I find a suitable gap between parked cars to get back on the pavement.  I've had two shouted apologies.

Some disabilities are more socially acceptable than others.  Visual impairments generally (but not always) seem to get less hostility where I live.  Bearing in mind that I have a range of physical, sensory and mental impairments, I believe that I can draw some comparison.

I wish I could promote the un-self-conscious use  of torches for pedestrians.  I bet  lots of others would use them if it was a more widespread thing where I live.

Meanwhile, having regard to the pandemic, I shall continue to resist the temptation to fling my arms round people who are kind and considerate to give them a big hug.  Smiles and jokes are my thank-you.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Monic1511

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Re: Night-blindness - old lessons re-learnt
« Reply #1 on: 24 Oct 2022 09:30AM »
Hi
It was interesting in what you were saying about street lights.  In my area the council has replaced the old street lights with LED ones with a restricted light spillage area.  As it is you can only see within 5 feet of the actual lamppost, there are dark places between each lamppost and if you step onto the house path it’s actually black.  When I encounter pavement parking I often drag my bags along the car and without knowing it I bump the wing mirrors


 

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Night-blindness - old lessons re-learnt
« Reply #2 on: 24 Oct 2022 02:36PM »
We've got a wide range of different street lights round here and they vary massively in brightness, angle, colour balance etc.  The ones they put on my road are weird bright blue-white light from a flat, slightly angled panel, and are a nightmare for light pollution in houses.  I changed bedrooms because of it.  We have a lot of trees and some of the lights are even sited so they cast almost no light at all on the pavement because of greenery. 

By contrast, many streets with softer lighting are easier for people whose eyes don't adjust quickly.  That being said, I'm pretty sure our street lights have been dimmed quite a bit.

I paused to think how surely by now someone would have come up with street lights that are both effective and not massively to install and maintain.  Hmm, but could they sell them to councils, and would they make enough profit for private contractors providing maintenance services to councils?  The cynic in me says no.

As for your problem, what a shame about those poor drivers who thought they'd parked their cars safely on the pavement.  It must be so annoying as well when they get scratches and bumps from baby buggies, shopping trolleys, wheely walkers, wheelchairs etc. used by people who for some mysterious reason use pavements in preference to roads.

I do hope that not too many of the hire electric scooters I bump into and knock over get damaged.  I'm sure the company that owns them couldn't possibly have thought that people might park them at an angle across the pavement or that anyone might not be able to see them clearly in the dark. After all, they've got a bright light in the centre of the handlebars, so everyone must, at a quick glance, instinctively work out whether the person that parked it did so in a straight line or at an angle, and whether along the edge of the pavement or diagonally across it.

Well, ok, it's pretty obvious I find them really annoying, and I'll be damned if I'll feel guilty about knocking any over, and I'm certainly not going to pick them up except where knocking them over has caused the pavement to be blocked.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Night-blindness - old lessons re-learnt
« Reply #3 on: 25 Oct 2022 06:35PM »
 :big_hugs: :f_smiley:


It is good that you are using a torch and not the light on your phone because torch shows a need you prepared for  :sleepimg_moon:

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Night-blindness - old lessons re-learnt
« Reply #4 on: 25 Oct 2022 11:44PM »
That's just made me laugh. Why?  Well, you see, people have been doing a wonderful job of not knocking me over until tonight someone knocked me over.  She was one of three young adults together.  The two lads with her rushed to pick me up.  I made 'calm the situation' sort of comments, but they were still in a bit of a flap.  I got the vibe that they were the worse for alcohol or some other 'substance'.

I lightly said it was ok, I was startled more than anything because most people realise the torch means my vision's not good.  They said they'd thought the light was from a mobile phone.

I suppose if you're not paying attention to what's around  you, you could easily register a bright light as a mobile. That being said, they should have left a bit of space anyway - imagine if it had been a mobile I'd dropped, not a torch.  But mishaps happen and I told them not to worry about it.

That being said, I suppose the way I hold it could seem like it's a phone.  I prop my upper arm against the front/side edge of  my body, the forearm held out and slightly up, with the top edge roughly centre breast height.  I point it downwards and the bottom couple of fingers act as a shield in front to avoid the light shining in anyone's eyes.  I suppose a lot of people with mobile phones hold them round there whilst they're listening on earbuds.

I got my white cane out recently but I've only used it a couple of times.  I think I'll use it if I go somewhere a bit crowded on a weekend night, though. 

As I type this, I'm thinking - what about one of those yellow vests that workmen and cyclists wear?  That might be worth a try.

Or a verbal 'alarm'.  I get through crowds of lads with my shopping trolley by calling out things like "Beep, beep, danger, danger, lady driver!"  What about "Beep, beep, can't see much, beep, beep, rubbish eyesight!"
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

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Re: Night-blindness - old lessons re-learnt
« Reply #5 on: 28 Oct 2022 03:08PM »
In my case it should be more like 'beep beep cranky old woman coming through beep beep ' :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:


Sunny Clouds

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Re: Night-blindness - old lessons re-learnt
« Reply #7 on: 28 Oct 2022 05:05PM »
Oh yes, music like that would be brilliant!

Mind you, I now have another moment of silliness (sorry).

You see, I clicked on that and listened and then wondered whether there are any blaring noises one could use.  Trumpet?  Hmm, not very viable.  Horn as in bike horn?  Hmm, possible.  Child's toy horn?  Tempting, tempting!

But I may try the 'cranky old woman' warning first.  Definitely a goer, that one.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)