What Do Blind People See?

Perhaps you’ve wondered: What do blind people see? Determining what blind people see begins with understanding visual impairment. This includes the types and causes.

Visual impairment can be mild or extreme. Some people have complete blindness, where they can’t detect light.

While others have partial blindness, where their eyes can detect lights and colors. Since people with total blindness can’t perceive visual stimuli, they can’t see anything.

However, this isn’t the case for persons with low vision because they can sense light.

This post explores what blind people see. First, let’s look at the different types of blindness and causes of visual impairment.

Understanding Blindness

Types Of Blindness

The term “blindness” covers a wide array of visual limitations. There are numerous forms of blindness, such as:

  1. Partial blindness: Also known as ‘low vision,’ this type of blindness allows for some degree of visual perception. An individual with partial blindness has a vision below 20/70.
  2. Complete blindness: In this case, there is a total absence of vision, including an inability to detect light.
  3. Congenital blindness: Referring to individuals born with limited vision, this form of visual impairment is present from birth.
  4. Legal blindness: Legally blind individuals have a central vision of 20/200 in their best-seeing eye, even after utilizing corrective glasses or contact lenses.
  5. Nutritional blindness: This term defines the loss of vision resulting from a deficiency in vitamin A.

Causes Of Blindness

Various factors contribute to the development of visual impairment, such as:

  • Eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Injuries or accidents that affect the eyes.
  • Congenital abnormalities present at birth.
  • Complications arising from eye surgery procedures.

What Do Blind People See?

Individuals who experience total blindness cannot perceive visual stimuli, including light. However, visual impairment is not always absolute when looking to understand what blind people see.

Some individuals may have limited vision or partial blindness. This enables them to retain a degree of sight.

The extent and nature of the residual vision can significantly differ among those with partial blindness.


Visual impairment comes in different degrees. Persons with low vision can perceive visual stimuli, so they may be able to see light, shapes, and colors. However, individuals with complete blindness cannot see anything.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.) Do Visually Impaired People Dream?

Individuals with visual impairments do experience dreams. However, they’re substantially different from the dreams of those with vision.

Without the ability to see, the dreams of blind people tend to be rich in touch, sound, smell, and taste sensations. This is less common in a sighted person’s dreams.

2.) How Do Blind People Perceive Color?

People who are entirely visually impaired have no vision and cannot perceive light or colors.

However, those who are legally blind may retain some visual capacity and discern colors at a specific distance. 

Visually impaired individuals can grasp colors through verbal descriptions or contextual references in language.

For instance, they can learn that strawberries are red and sand is brown or white through language.

3.) Is Blindness Like Closing Your Eyes?

Contrary to popular belief, blindness is not like closing one’s eyes. While closing your eyes still allows for the perception of light and darkness, completely blind individuals cannot see anything. That includes light itself.

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