Bright Lights: Famous People and Their Visual Impairments

Abraham LincolnVision is arguably the most important of the five senses. Losing your sight can be upsetting because it’s challenging to learn and appreciate things when you cannot see them. Your eyes are the gateway for imagination and creativeness, which are essential in developing your personality.

Here are four visual impairments and the famous people who had them:

Ray Charles and Glaucoma

Ray Charles is well-known not only for his contribution to the music industry, but also for his congenital glaucoma. This eye disease can damage optic nerves and cause permanent blindness, which is the case with Charles. He lost his sight at seven years old, but still learned to play the piano and fly a plane.

Claude Monet and Cataracts

Claude Monet is a famous Impressionism painter who suffered from cataracts, which is the clouding of the eye lens resulting in a decreased vision. Despite its effects on his art, many still see greatness in the French painter’s works. Prior to his eye surgery, his paintings had a more reddish tone.

Abraham Lincoln and Strabismus

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln couldn’t look at a person straight in the eye? He had strabismus — his eyes don’t line up in the same direction. His right eye did most of the work as the left one, the lazy eye, is slightly tilted upward. It’s still unknown what caused the 16th president’s eye disorder.

Apl.de.ap and Nystagmus

Apl.de.ap, one-fourth of the hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas, always wears sunglasses. This is because he has nystagmus, a condition wherein the eyes involuntarily move repetitively, causing limited vision. Before discovering hip-hop, success didn’t even cross his mind, but today he is one of the best break-dancers.

Different eye disorders require different remedies. Depending on the impairment and its severity, you may be subject for a laser eye surgery or eye injections to suppress the progression of the disorder.

It’s quite encouraging to know that there are a few people who are successful in life despite having visual impairments. Their stories, including both difficulties and victories, serve as an inspiration and motivation for others to continue living their lives and striving to achieve great feats.