Does anyone else have difficulty with darkness? I can’t see in the dark. I might as well be blind!

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Driving in the dark is especially bothersome to me…another thing I originally attributed to aging rather than the sca. I’m sure the growing cataracts don’t help!! I’ve added night lights around the house .

I tried to take some rubbish out last week ,the path was in total darkness and I found I couldn’t move but had a real panic. Donna

:smirk: I’ve been treated for many years for eye problems, and although I’d become increasingly aware that night driving was becoming more difficult, not one specialist pointed out the obvious. And, being outdoors on foot in the dark became just as precarious.

Bad light causes me to ‘freeze’…I stiffen, find it very hard to step out confidently, and this in turn can lead to falls :roll_eyes:

Many people, with various types of ataxia, find bright light blinding, and poor light can be just as unnerving. One of the problems is, with ataxia we lack proper perception of depth, it’s difficult to accurately judge distances, that combined with light sensitivity causes problems :woozy_face:

I can match Beryl absolutely - apart from one thing. You can drive Beryl. I have a squint (as you might have guessed) so I often can’t judge distances. I couldn’t manage in various situations: roundabouts, traffic lights, traffic jams. I also can’t turn my head very much so I couldn’t park the car unless I had three places to myself. I take eye drops and Dr says I’ll need to have them once every two so hours (yeah, hours, not days) for the rest of my life. If I understand right, this is because my natural tears are poor quality. So like Beryl has said elsewhere, I have other issues. But seeing in darkness, bright light, stiffening muscles - yeah, I can match those and they sound like our ever-faithful companion ataxia to me. And of course ice is a problem for all of us and holding an umbrella in the rain. When I walk - or strut - I have momentum problem - I can’t stop . If people can’t understand ataxia, I say it’s a bit like a fear of heights where everything freezes and stiffens and you can’t move. If you do move, everything shakes, you lose your balance completely in a split second and just drop. Oh and I’m stone deaf as well.

:hushed: I’m so sorry about your hearing loss…do you feel it has an impact on your balance issues :thinking: My hearing seems to be more acute these days…and I can get quite stressed by loud noise.
It has crossed my mind that we suffer anxiety and stress in certain situations, very similar to people diagnosed with autism.
Crowded noisy areas, with bright fluorescent lighting are the worst to negotiate. Just this weekend I was at my local Mall, and remembered I had earplugs in my bag. This may sound silly, but I experimented by walking around for a while with the earplugs in my ears…and suddenly found the whole atmosphere more bearable :slightly_smiling_face: Obviously it didn’t make any difference to the lighting, I had sunglasses but would have felt ‘embarrassed’ wearing them indoors. But the overwhelming background noise that was stressing me out, dimmed to a manageable level, and I could still hear my husband speak to me :slightly_smiling_face:

Sadly, I no longer drive. I froze up one day and gave it up. As for seeing in the dark… a couple of years ago, a friend and I went to an outdoor play that ended at around 10 pm. At the time, I was still walking - albeit awkwardly - and when I went to take a step, I stumbled. My friend called me her “drunk friend.” That’s when I realized that I couldn’t see to save my life! Sound - fortunately - doesn’t affect me.

The same scenario with me also. My MD said it is due sensory.
Usually avoid driving in the dark but i drive and working.

Beryl, you do not need to be embarrassed for wearing dark glasses inside. I know a number of blind people who do it all the time plus various others who just have sensitive eyes. I asked a blind friend once why he did it if he was blind anyway. He said that although he was blind, he could still ‘sense’ light and it drove him round the bend. Another said that he could always see faint shadows. I admire my blind friends. They can do all sorts of things you’d never guess they could. I was in a group of about 10 people and Nelly was blind. One of the other 10 said “What time is it?” It was Nelly who answered first, quick as a flash. She ‘glanced’ with her fingers at her special watch and amazed everyone. Everyone except the chap who had asked the question. He was embarrassed because there was a clock in the room which he hadn’t noticed. One of my friends has a very nice job with a good wage and an enviable pension too. Others can use a computer with their ears. Many of them and one in particular are very active in sports. One of them has a Duke of Edinburgh Gold award. So yes, I admire them and they all wear dark glasses inside. I don’t admire myself who has done nowt to shout about.