Blinded by the Light
When I am facing a window during the day, it compromises what I can see. Not only do I suffer from nyctalopia (night blindness), I also suffer from photophobia (light sensitivity).
If a person is sitting with his/her back to a window, all I see is a dark silhouette of the person. I try to tell people that I can't see anything when I have to look at them with the light in the background. It just strains my eyes. I would rather be the one sitting with my back to the window or a lamp. Once in awhile I am brave and I would tell the person to trade places or I would hope to "beat" that person to the seat by the window. It would help if the blinds were down. Sometimes that's not possible, like in a restaurant, eating out with family and friends.
I don't know what's worst-eating out during the day when the sun's shining through the windows (instant whiteout) or at night when the restaurant dims all their lights to make it "romantic". I can't win.
I won't make a big issue out of it. I am always quiet when I go out anyway. Too much background noise-other patron's voices, maybe music, clinking of glasses and forks, waitstaff asking if everything is okay, etc. Sometimes when I am comfortable with the person I am with, I'll ask that I have my back to the window. Otherwise I just can't look in that direction without getting that "whiteout" and seeing dark shapes that are people.
Maybe it's not just me and others with RP/Usher Syndrome or any other eye disorder. Maybe everyone prefers to have their back to the window because, he/she also gets eye strain. Or maybe because they want to look around the restuarant.
I know it's about speaking out, but sometimes you just don't want to seem rude. In the meantime, I'll just have to see what specialized low vision sunglasses that have anti-glare properties there are and which ones I could wear indoors. I can't wear just any pair of sunglasses; if it's dark, I can't see through them-the nightblindness thing kicks in. That's whole different topic....
Labels: RP/Usher Syndrome