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Did you Know?

... That diabetic retinopathy can occur even in those with pre-diabetes?

Prolonged periods of high blood sugar levels cause damage to the small blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye.

These blood vessels initially become leaky, and then may become blocked off.  This causes haemorrhages (spots of blood) and exudates (proteins) from the blood vessels on to the retina. It may also cause swelling, known as oedema of the retina.

The blocked vessels can starve the retina of oxygen, leading to the growth of new abnormal vessels from the retina.

Keeping your blood glucose in range will dramatically reduce the risk of all diabetes complications including problems with your eyes!

Information about Blindness

What is the Definition of Blind?

Causes of Blindness

Adaptive Techniques

Tools and Aids for the Blind

Social Attitudes About the Blind


Diabetes Resources 2004-2005: Equipment, Services, Information - Published by the Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind

$5 per copy, available in large print, 15/16 IPS audiocassette, or Braille

Support, Information and Resources

Access Watch: Blind users review accessibility of mainstream software

A Comprehensive Directory of Blindness Information

American Council of the Blind

American Foundation for the Blind

Blind Access Journal: Visual impairment in the real world

VISION 2020: The Right to Sight

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)

International Braille Research Center

Literature Bibliography and Resources List

National Braille Press

National Federation of the Blind: Civil rights and consumer advocacy

National Library for the Blind

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic

Royal National Institute for the Blind

Scottish Sensory Centre

WHO Fact Sheet on Visual Impairment

Your Diabetes Community Site Index                                     main Family Fun & Forums page
Family Fun & Forums

List of famous blind people

Article from From Wikipedia

Mini site index
Blind From Birth
Persons Who Became Blind
Persons Blind in One Eye
Blind Painters
Blind Fictional and Mythological Characters

Related Information
Diabetic Retinopathy

Blind from birth

  • David Blunkett, (born 1947), British ex-cabinet minister
  • Sidney Bradford, (1906-1960), went blind at 10 months of age, regained sight after a cornea transplant at the age of 52
  • Jessica Callahan, singer, blind from retinopathy of prematurity
  • Clarence Carter, (born 1936)
  • Tim Cordes
  • Jose Feliciano, (born 1945), blind from birth due to congenital glaucoma
  • Thomas Gore, (1870-1949), went blind from childhood accident
  • Al Hibbler
  • Homer, said to have been blind, not known to have been blind from birth
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson, (1893-1929), Blues musician & singer
  • Blind Willie McTell, (1901-1959)
  • Ronnie Milsap
  • Gilbert Montagné
  • George Shearing, (1919 - ), jazz pianist.
  • Arnolt Schlick, blind as an adult, no records of his childhood survive
  • Surdas, a Hindu poet, saint and musician of India
  • Alec Templeton, jazz musician  


People that became blind

  • Frankie Armstrong, English folk singer and voice teacher, sight degraded in late teens onwards from glaucoma
  • Tilly Aston(1873–1947), Australian disability activist who founded Association for the Advancement of the Blind in 1895. Vision impaired from birth, blind at 7 years of age.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach(1685–1750), became blind in later life.
  • Jorge Luis Borges, became blind in old age from a hereditary condition
  • Louis Braille, (1809–1852), became blind at the age of 3, after he accidentally stabbed himself in the eye with his father's awl, and the lost the sight in the other eye from sympathetic ophthalmitis.
  • Andrea Bocelli, (born 1958), barely sighted at birth became completely blind at 12.
  • Ray Charles, (1930–2004), blind from glaucoma after age 7.
  • Enrico Dandolo, (died 1205), doge of Venice, blind from trauma.
  • Frederick Delius, (1862–1934), became blind later in life after contracting syphilis
  • Leonhard Euler(1707–1783), mathematician and physicist.
  • Ella Fitzgerald(1917-1996), jazz singer, went blind as a result of diabetes in her old age.
  • Galileo Galilei(1564–1642), astronomer, philosopher, and physicist, blind by age 72 not from looking to the Sun but from cataract and glaucoma
  • W.C. Handy, (1873–1958), Blues composer, went blind in middle age
  • Isaac, biblical patriarch
  • Isaac the Blind, (1160–1235), French cabbalist (possibly blind from birth)
  • James Joyce, (1882–1941), writer, at times blind, underwent several operations
  • King John the Blindof Bohemia (1309–1346)
  • John II of Aragon, (1397–1479), able to see again after cataract surgery (couching) by Abiathar Crescas
  • Helen Keller, (1880–1968), deafblindness resulted from fever at age 19 months
  • Rahsaan Roland Kirk(1935–1977), blind jazz saxophonist, perhaps best known for his ability to play more than one saxophone at once.
  • Esmond Knight, British actor
  • Stalebread Lacombe, Jazz musician, went blind in middle age
  • Francesco Landini, 14th century Italian composer; blind from childhood, from smallpox I>Fritz Lang, (1890–1976), nearly blind at the end of his life
  • Mike May, (born 1954), regained partial vision due to stem cell research.
  • John Milton, (1608–1674), became blind at the age of 42.
  • Bernard Morin, (b. 1931), mathematician who made important contributions to topology, blind since age 6
  • Ginny Owens, Gospel singer, totally blind from age 2
  • Joseph Plateau, (1801–1883), physicist, blind due to retinal exposure to sunlight.
  • William Prescott, historian, from childhood blind in one eye, severe visual impairment in other eye
  • Joseph Pulitzer (1847–1911), publisher, blind at 43 from retinal detachement
  • Omar Abdel-Rahman, religious leader and terrorist
  • Joaquin Rodrigo, composer, from an illness at age three
  • Marla Runyan(1969–), Olympic long-distance runner, diagnosed with Stargardt's disease at the age of 9
  • Samson, Biblical character, blinded by the Philistines
  • Zohar Sharon, blind pro golfer
  • John Stanley, composer, became partially blind as the result of a domestic accident at age 2
  • Kelvin Tan Weilian, Singaporean singer, became almost totally blind after late-teens
  • James Thurber, lost an eye as a child when his brother shot him with an arrow and as an adult lost the sight in the other eye.
  • Sue Townsend, registered blind in mid 2001 due to a diabetic condition she has suffered from for 20 years.
  • Eamon de Valera, (1882–1975), President of Ireland.
  • Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia (1940- )
  • Doc Watson, folk guitarist, blinded by a childhood eye infection at the age of one.
  • Stevie Wonder, blindness from retrolental fibroplasia caused by high oxygen concentrations in the incubator in which he was placed because of his premature birth.
  • Brandon Jardine, was stabbed in the eyes by his parents with red hot pokers in 1991.  


People blind in one eye

  • Louise Ashby, American actress and model, lost an eye in a car accident at the age of 21
  • Tex Avery, (1908-1980), blind in his left eye
  • Elizabeth Blackwell
  • Bohemund IV of Antioch, the One-Eyed
  • Gordon Brown, lost the use of his left eye as a boy during a game of rugby.
  • Bushwick Bill, American rapper, member of the Geto Boys, lost an eye during an argument with a girlfriend
  • Dale Chihuly
  • Ry Cooder, blind in one eye
  • Sammy Davis, Jr., (1925-1990), lost his left eye in an car accident in 1954
  • Moshe Dayan
  • André De Toth, (1912-2002), film director known for his work on House of Wax, a film notable for its 3D effects. Ironically, since he was blind in one eye, De Toth was not himself able to perceive the effects.
  • Ben Dreyfuss
  • David Duchovny, blind in his right eye due to a basketball injury
  • Sandy Duncan, lost vision in one eye following surgery.
  • Peter Falk, (born 1927), lost his right eye at age three as a result of a tumor.
  • Nick Griffin
  • Hannibal
  • Rex Harrison, (1908-1990), blind in one eye as the result of a childhood illness.
  • Eric Hosking
  • Samuel Johnson
  • Lisa Lopes "Left Eye", singer for band TLC; killed in car accident in 2002.
  • Jim McMahon, (born 1959), legally blind in one eye due to a childhood accident
  • Alan Moore
  • Horatio Nelson, (1758-1805), lost an eye in battle and later took advantage of his disability.
  • Kirby Puckett, (born 1961), Baseball Hall of Famer; baseball career ended when he lost the sight in his right eye due to glaucoma
  • Claude Rains, blind in one eye
  • Cordwainer Smith (pen name of Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger), blinded in left eye as a child, vision impaired in right eye by infection
  • Art Tatum
  • James Grover Thurber
  • Mo Udall (1922-1998), lost an eye in a childhood accident. It was mistreated by a drunken doctor.
  • Dick Vitale, (born 1939), basketball sportscaster; blind in one eye from a childhood accident
  • Rich Williams
  • Xiahou Dun, blinded by arrow during a battle. According to legend, is said to have immediately eaten it.
  • Yagyu Jubei Mitsuyoshi, (1607-1650), most legends state he lost it in a sword sparring session with his father; however, the truth is unknown.
  • Jón Ţor Birgisson, lead singer of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós   


Blind painters

  • Esref Armagan, realistic painter, blind since birth.
  • Honoré Daumier, (1808-1879), French caricaturist, painter, and sculptor, blind later in life.
  • Francisco Goya, (1746-1828) - painter, became blind and deaf in late life, painted blind(ed) subjects.
  • Claude Monet, (1840-1926), lost sight through cataracts in later life, improved after surgery.
  • Joshua Reynolds, (1723-1792), British painter, blind later in life.   


Blind fictional and mythological characters

  • Albino from Alejandro Jodorowsky's Technopriests (impaired vision due to albinism)
  • Paul Atreides, from the Dune universe
  • G'Kar- (Babylon 5) (blind in one eye)
  • Geordi La Forge- (Star Trek)
  • Suzy Hendrix, played by Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark, 1967
  • Jorge de Burgos, in The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  • Phineas, king and seer, from Salmydessus in Thrace, in Jason and the Argonauts
  • Polyphemus, a cyclops, blinded by Odysseus
  • Odin- Norse mythology- gave up one eye in exchange for wisdom)
  • Oedipus, blinded himself
  • Tiresias, the Blind Seer (Greek mythology)
  • Jamesir Bensonmum, blind butler from the film Murder by Death
  • Daredevil, comic book superhero
  • Doctor Mid-Nite, comic book superhero.
  • Peter Griffin- lost his sight in one episode of Family Guy, after setting a world record of the most nickels eaten. He gets the eyes of a dead homeless man at the end of the episode.
  • Zatoichi


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Page Updated 01/18/2006