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A woman covers one of her eyes during an eye test.
What does the world look like when your vision is impaired?

Have you ever wondered how visual impairment affects what you can actually see?

It’s thought that 285 million people worldwide have some form of visual impairment – that’s almost one in every 26 people.

There are many different causes and types of visual impairment, and some people with impaired vision have extremely limited or no residual sight. However, being registered as blind does not always mean that a person has no sight at all.

If you have full vision it can be hard to understand what those with impaired vision can actually see. For example, here’s what a classroom in Sierra Leone might look like if you’re a child with full vision.

A crisp, clear image of classroom in Sierra Leone. The teacher stands in front of the blackboard with a pupil, while the other classmates look on.

You can see the blackboard, recognise the teacher’s gestures and notice the reactions of your classmates.

Now, here’s what the same classroom in Sierra Leone might look like if you have cataracts.

A blurry image of a classroom in Sierra Leone. The image is fuzzy and indistinct, with a whitish tinge. It's very hard to make out the teacher and the blackboard.

You can barely make out the blackboard or see what is written on it, making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to take part in lessons and progress with your studies.

Cataracts is a preventable condition that affects children as well as adults, yet it accounts for almost 48 per cent of blindness worldwide. It’s caused by a build-up of protein that clouds the eye’s lens, leading to blurred vision and eventual blindness.

It costs just £50 for a 20-minute operation to restore a child’s vision. Find out how making a donation could help give a child back their sight and give them hope for the future.

You can also read more about our work with schools and what we’re doing to ensure all children have equal access to education.

The original Eye Sim domain and website were kindly donated to Sightsavers by Joseph Fenton. Click here to view the original site.

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