Signs of Vision Loss

A person who begins to experience a visual impairment may be reluctant to talk about it with others. In many cases, the conversation needs to be started by his or her friends or family members.

How do you know if someone you care about has begun to lose their sight? The list below, developed by VisionAware, identifies many common indicators.



  • They begin to bump into things.
  • They move hesitantly or walk close to a wall.
  • They grope for objects or touch them in an uncertain way.
  • They squint or tilt the head to see.
  • They request more or different lighting.
  • They hold books or other reading matter close to the face.
  • They drop food or silverware when eating.
  • They have trouble making out faces, the lettering on signs, etc.
  • They do not notice stains on clothing or wear mismatched clothes.
  • They act visually disoriented or confused in a familiar place.
  • They trip on area rugs.
  • They indicate that they see halos or rings around lights.
  • They complain of migraine headaches that give them blurry vision.
  • They cannot see anything at night.
  • They see spots in front of their eyes.
  • They indicate that their eyes hurt.
  • They see flashes of light frequently.
  • They see double sometimes.
  • Everything looks distorted to them.
  • They state that they need more light.

While these are common behaviors of a person experiencing visual impairments, a diagnosis can be made only by a licensed eye doctor. If you believe that someone in your life is losing his or her sight, please encourage them to seek an eye exam.