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  1. #1
    S_B
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    New to the of world visual impairment ...

    Hi - I'll start with a quick bit of background ... I'm nearly 7 weeks out from major heart surgery (aortic valve replacement - sorting out a valve that has, unknown to me, been defective since before birth) and am recovering well. I was previously fit and healthy (I'm 47 years old before you ask). I was (pre-op) a keen cyclist and general sportsman (a bit of running, swimming and lots of running around after the kids!).
    So why the posting? Well, during my surgery I suffered a stroke and as a result have lost my left-field peripheral vision. My 'main' forward sight is unaffected, and my right-field peripheral vision is also normal. So, its kind of like having tunnel vision - but only on one side!
    I am keen to hear of other tales of getting back into cycling following sight loss or impairment (especially following stroke). I want to make sure I have some strong positive examples to follow and that will make it abundantly clear that there is no reason I shouldn't get back to doing what I love ...
    So, what tales do you have?
    Any tips for a 'newbie' in the world of visual impairment?
    Cheers - Steve

  2. #2
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    Not visually impaired, I mean aside from the way I look...but I think if you take a look through this forum you will find plenty of inspiration to adapt and overcome your condition. Good luck to you.
    One Foot Less

  3. #3
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I'd suggest developing a habit of visual checks to compensate for your loss of peripheral vision, and otherwise, carry on with your life.

    My wife has balance issues and is legally blind with uncorrectible 20/400 vision and monocular double vision due to neurological damage, and she actively rides a recumbent trike.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  4. #4
    S_B
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    Thanks Tom - yes, the visual checks are a key element I guess and they're starting to become more routine (not quite second nature yet, but its early days).
    Punkncat - cheers for that ... I'll review the site and see what I can uncover.
    Everyone else - any key experience anyone?

  5. #5
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Don't wear headphones! Good hearing can fill in for a lot of what is hard to see. I was a 1/4 mile oval dirt track racer for 12 years. Its almost universal on dirt tracks not to allow the use of rear view mirrors so as to discourage "mirror driving," where you keep shifting lanes to block a faster car. You really can't turn your head much at all the way you are strapped in. Yet I developed a good sense of traffic around and behind me that I could not see. I think with proper caution you will be fine.

    In your position I would be checking out mirror options.

    Best wishes for your fullest possible recovery and no more strokes!

    Don in Austin

  6. #6
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S_B View Post
    Hi - I'll start with a quick bit of background ... I'm nearly 7 weeks out from major heart surgery (aortic valve replacement - sorting out a valve that has, unknown to me, been defective since before birth) and am recovering well. I was previously fit and healthy (I'm 47 years old before you ask). I was (pre-op) a keen cyclist and general sportsman (a bit of running, swimming and lots of running around after the kids!).
    So why the posting? Well, during my surgery I suffered a stroke and as a result have lost my left-field peripheral vision. My 'main' forward sight is unaffected, and my right-field peripheral vision is also normal. So, its kind of like having tunnel vision - but only on one side!
    I am keen to hear of other tales of getting back into cycling following sight loss or impairment (especially following stroke). I want to make sure I have some strong positive examples to follow and that will make it abundantly clear that there is no reason I shouldn't get back to doing what I love ...
    So, what tales do you have?
    Any tips for a 'newbie' in the world of visual impairment?
    Cheers - Steve
    Steve, All this really ends up meaning is, while you sort of have 'tunnel vision' due to the loss of peripheral vision in your left eye, it also means that, you can no longer have tunnel vision 'with your head'.

    What that translates to, is that instead of no longer relying on your peripheral vision, turn your head to see what is happening. Regardless of good or bad vision, you should also be listening for the traffic besides looking for it.

    I am not saying this blindly(pardon the pun). I am 20/40 in my right eye, but 20/200(technically considered blind) in my left eye. My eyes have been this bad my whole life. I ride on high-speed roads(40mph) pretty regularly. I also ride fast since I have a racing bike. I 'take the lane' and rarely ride on the sidewalk because, I have better control of my balance issues on the road, than I do on the sidewalk.

  7. #7
    S_B
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    Thanks for the good wishes Don. Certainly looking forward to giving it a go once I get the all-clear from my cardiac surgeon (hopefully next week). I'll post back with my experiences ...
    Cheers - Steve

  8. #8
    S_B
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    Thanks Chris - that all sounds pretty encouraging. I'm picking up on the 'moving the head more' solution already. Whilst its not second nature yet its getting there. Cheers - Steve

  9. #9
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S_B View Post
    Thanks Chris - that all sounds pretty encouraging. I'm picking up on the 'moving the head more' solution already. Whilst its not second nature yet its getting there. Cheers - Steve
    In addition to getting more in the habit of moving your head, you need to also listen for the traffic.

    IMO regardless of mirrors, looking AND listening for traffic need to work in tandem. Not separate from each other.

  10. #10
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    If you wear an eye patch over your affected eye, does your vision still remain normal with normal peripheral vision? I have a really weird eye issue where I was born with a lazy eye but my brain never shut off my weak eye, instead my brain shifts from left to right and back to left as needed for whatever eye is being used at the time. I never see true depth perception or out of both eyes at the same time. Its either left or right. If I can ride a bike with only using one eye at a time, your brain should be able to accommodate.

    The one thing you need to watch for is be careful in regards to lane shifting. My wife suffered a bad hemorrhagic stroke about 6 years ago in her right temporal lobe. They removed a baseball sized chunk of her brain. She has her driver's license now and got it back after a year or two of recovery. The thing is that she lost quite a bit of her field of vision as well in her left eye. I'm not sure if its the same as tunnel vision but she has poor peripheral vision. What she has done ever since that is she has a tendency to lane shift while driving. She will hug the left side of the road while driving. She always feels like she is too close to the right side of the road. It even occurs to her when she drives the go-kart at stores like Walmart. She is better but still, she has to be aware of it and has had to learn to compensate.

  11. #11
    sic transit gloria mundi
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    I believe the op's eyes aren't the problem, bobotech. Because he had a stroke it affected visual field not his left eye.

  12. #12
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    Oh interesting, so its his left side vision that was affected, not the left side vision in his left eye. I don't know about that since that doesn't mean much to mean with my eye problems but like I said, my wife suffered with loss of one side of her vision (not sure which side) and that causes her to drift towards the left side of the road when driving or even the left side of the lane when using a walmart go kart thing. Since then, my wife has had to force herself to become more aware of objects on the left side.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    I have had glaucoma since my early teens (now 40). I've failed the DoD's color blindness test, my night vision is terrible, poor depth perception, can't track objects thrown at me, one test revealed that only 5% of my vision is 'normal/healthy', been told I'm legally blind.... and I ride a bike for transportation purposes- with the Doc's approval. We figure it would be a good way to try and avoid the onset of Type 2 Diabetes (family history).
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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