Relating to others, you’re not alone

Today, a colleague told me she noticed Richard Osman, from Pointless, had Nystagmus when watching him on TV. The only reason she knew about Nystagmus was because of my sponsored Zipwire – which we completed yesterday – blog post to come. It’s a good feeling, to know someone was aware of the condition was because of me.

Anyway, I immediately searched on the internet to see if it was true and found this article. I was the most relatable thing I’ve ever read. Every word is so true to how Nystagmus feels. He talks about his mother letting him sit close to the TV to see detail that he, otherwise, would’ve missed. It brought back memories of me having my own chair to sit close to the TV in the lounge when I was younger. I don’t sit closer to watch films anymore, but still find I have to if I want to play video games – mainly so I can read the text on screen, but also so I can concentrate on all the details.

The most important part of the article for me – the bit that stood out the most – was when he talks about being worried about ‘blanking’ people. I constantly feel like that… I can’t make out faces from across the street and often don’t realise who people are until I’m about 2/3 metres away. I’ve been in town for the day and then got home to a message saying ‘Hey, I saw you today, I waved but you were oblivious’. I wasn’t oblivious, I just couldn’t see you! Because of that, I find myself scanning the crowd for people when I’m out, taking extra care to take in details. It’s tiring and annoying – but it’s the norm for me now.

The article also states ‘When he tells people he has nystagmus, they rarely understand why stronger glasses won’t help.’ This is such a classic question when I tell people I can’t drive because I have Nystagmus. ‘Can’t you just get stronger glasses?’ – It doesn’t work like that because short sightedness is just a secondary factor that comes with Nystagmus. The Nystagmus itself cannot be overcome. I wish people were more aware of it. This was always a problem for me at school when I had to explain to the teachers, so I could sit at the front – or have my own text book. They didn’t know what it was and often forgot, it was embarrassing to make a scene in front of the whole class so I often just sat back quietly and ‘learnt to listen’ – like Richard states. But the fact that out of maybe 30 teachers I had throughout all my education, only 1 was aware of Nystagmus, that’s shocking, now I think about it.

Hopefully with all the hard work from the researchers and eye specialist doctors out there, school won’t be so embarrassing and overwhelming for future generations. It’s always going to be a worry that my future children will have Nystagmus – I shouldn’t use the word worry, as it’s so negative, but it is a worry that they might have to tackle the struggles I did throughout my childhood. I’m only 19 so I guess I probably have many more to come – but on the bright side they are learning curves too. I probably wouldn’t take in so much detail of the world around me if it wasn’t for my Nystagmus, being observational is always a plus.

Enough rambling for now. Will update with a post about the sponsored Zipwire soon.

Leah xx


Richard Osman’s Article – Read more:




2 thoughts on “Relating to others, you’re not alone

  1. I’ve had people think me a snob because I didn’t wave back. It’s annoying that people think wearing glasses automatically makes your vision perfect. I too hope one day nystagmus won’t be so little known.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s