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DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

I am a 25 year old who is 1/4 partially blind in the upper righthand quadrant (peripheral vision). It is permanent, but should not increase, as in 1997, I had brain hemorrhage and surgery to remove and repair. Though I have adapted pretty well to it, I do still occasionally bump into a branch or such. But I have put off driving for too long, which makes me too restricted from doing many things from basic to preferences.

I've been searching and asking for tips/experience on DRIVING with loss of some peripheral vision. Perhaps like having an extra small mirror hanging or installed into the car for my upper righthand quadrant. I do know that I should get a taller car rather than flat, short one.

I am in the Boston area, and any feedback and tips/referrals would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

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Rear-view mirrors for partially sighted

Don't give up! As long as the laws in your state allow you to drive there are some special wide-angle rear view mirrors that can help. I have been legally blind in my left eye since birth (I can only see fuzzy images in the left eye) so my peripheral vision on my left side is very limited. When I started driving I was very nervous and always had to swing my head far over to the left when changing lanes to the left or merging on the highway so that my right eye could see clearly if the lane was clear when I wanted to merge left.

Then about 10 years ago I saw a wide-angle rear view mirror at an auto supply store that has really helped. It is called the LaneChanger and it glues on top of your regular rear view mirror. It is a wide-angle "fish-eye" mirror that allows you to see not just the view out of the rear window but also both sides of your car. I can change lanes without having to look over my shoulder because when I look up at the wide-angle rear-view mirror I can see if there are cars on either side of me.

Unfortunately auto supply stores don't seem to carry the LaneChanger anymore but it is available on the Web and I believe a newer version has come out recently. I strongly urge you to look for the LaneChanger on the Web or for any other kind of wide-angle rear view mirror attachment. They really helped me!

The other option is to practice using the side mirrors on your car so that you feel really comfortable using them to check if it is safe to change lanes. The recommendations today are to set the mirrors so that they DON'T show any of your own car when you are sitting upright in the driver's seat. That means that you will have a better view of cars in your blind spot to the right or left.

Good luck-

Re:DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

Hi my name is ashlie im 22 yrs old and I am legally blind in my left eye and I am struggling with learning how to drive. Is there any advise you can give me?

Re:DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

can you tell me who you spoke to at DMV?. I'd like to get some info on approved rehabilitation facilities.

Re:DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

A recent stroke left me with peripheral vision loss in both eyes. Where can I learn about rehabilitation facilities in the New York City area with a view (forgive the pun) to getting a permit to drive.

Re:DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

I am 35 years old and when I was 34 I suffered 5 strokes as a result of a motor vehicle accident with a drunk driver. The strokes left me without any peripheral vision in my left eye. I have been informed by several doctors that I I can legally drive in New York, I just need to complete Driver RehabilitationTraining before doing so. I will be undertaking this task in the spring. If this is wat I have to do to drive it is worth a try. By the way I have 20/20 vision just no left side peripheral vision.

Anna, from Germany

Welcome to my new gallery>

Re:DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

Reading all of the responses has been encouraging, sad and wonderful at the same time. I'm 36 and suffered a brain hemorrage while at work. If that wasn't enough, I also suffered infarctions, otherwise known as strokes in three different areas of my brain. Its been discouraging because they can't find out why it happened and it's left me partially blind in 50 percent of both eyes. I have no right peripheral vision. I've accidently burned myself, cut myself while cooking and bumped into everything I know is there. When I look at someone, I see only half of them, unless I'm "scanning". Not to mention the tingling and numbness on my entire leftside. I'm a fluke, an enigma, or anomally according to my neurosurgeon. Ginea pig is more like it. I just found out that the doctor is "recommending" I don't drive. Of course, like you, I would never want to injure anyone. But I'll be honest, I'm angry that I'm going to loose a major part of my freedom. How do you cope with all of these feelings? I'm not the type to give up but the frustration is overwhelming sometimes. Maybe it would be easier if they could tell me why this happened. And by the way, this is the extent of my medical history. No blood pressure problems, diabetes or anything else for that matter.

Re:DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

I've been a Glaucoma suspect since I was a teenager and I lost about 1/3 of the sight in my right eye when I was 34 years old. I've had Glaucoma since then. I have a perfect driving record.

Don't let it stop you. Don't give up. You can do anything you really want to do. As long as you feel you are a safe driver, you can do it. I try not to drive really late at night or when I'm really tired. I don't talk much when I'm driving. I explain my handicap to my passengers so they know that I need to concentrate. Never let it stop you. By the way, I'm a graphic designer and my eyes are critical for my work. Good luck with your eyes!

Re:DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

my son is 18 and has just been dx with RP his central vision is only about 30 degrees with a 30 degree peripheral loss. erg is bad also. pretty much flat- does anyone know guidelines on when he should not drive???

Re:DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

I was surprised to read the other posts where you say that you can not drive. I live in Australia and am totally blind in one eye, i have resentlly got my learners and have been told that i am able to have my licence as normal i am just not allowed to drive taxis, commercial vehicals or anything too large. However i was very worried about driving as i can only see halp of what others can see, i am having some trouble when my driving instructor tells me to look over my shoulder to see if there are any cars coming when really i can not see anything doing that but hopefully i will be able to drive and i hope that you can too.

Re:DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

Wow, my apologies for not responding, but I did not know that anybody had ever even replied to my posting.

I was just doing a Google search for "Brain Hemorrhage" and "Message Boards" and this popped up!

You 2 who responded, thanks so much for replying, though you may never read this. Good to know also about the restrictions. I didn't realize that they would have strict restrictions likely. Hhhh. Still don't drive, but actually got the car.


p.s. You can write to me with this username, through AOL.

Re:DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

I had a massive stroke about two years ago in August, 2004, and it left me with peripheral blindness in the left eye. Today, I have had a second eye exam and I was told the peripheral blindness has not changed in anyway.

I was also partially paralyzed on the left side of my body. I have improved so well that I am able to be almost back to normal, except that my left leg is still too weak to walk.

I would like to encourage those of you with peripheral blindness to accept it because it is not going to change or get better. From one who knows.

The sad part is that most DMV's may not issue a driver's license, with the person having peripheral blindness, and that leaves us wishing we could drive again and regain our freedom.

Re:DRIVING: Partially blind (peripheral)

Hi. Personally I had to struggle with that same situation and it came down to I asked my specialist his suggestion and if I could even drive. Then I had to call the local DMV and see what their guidelines where. At first I was restricted to day driving then not at all. It is a struggle to accept the fact I would never drive again. I still miss the freedom of getting in a car and just driving but it is something that has to be reckoned with and then accepted. I thought about the fact what if I didnt see a child run out into the street and I hit him/her, I just couldnt live with that.
If it comes down to where you can not drive research if there are car pools for the disabled and learn your bus routes.

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