Losing your sight ‘one of the worst things that could happen’

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Research commissioned by Guide Dogs (www.guidedogs.org.uk) has revealed that the vast majority of adults in the South East believe that losing their sight is one of the worst things that could happen to them.

More than a fifth of those surveyed say that it is the worst thing that could happen.

But it is thought that only around two per cent of the UK population donate regularly to a sight loss charity1.

85 per cent respondents also felt that they would be unable to continue to do their job if they lost their sight. Four in every five people feel that they would lose their independence or become depressed and 68 per cent would be frightened to leave the house.

These beliefs are supported by existing studies into the impact of sight loss which show that it frequently leads to deep seated depression.

Nearly 70 per cent say they would apply for a guide dog if they lost their sight - yet only six per cent report having donated to Guide Dogs in the last 12 months.

The researchhighlights how devastating going blind would be and has been released to mark Guide Dogs Week 2012.

The charity’s annual awareness and fundraising raising event runs from Saturday, October 6.

“Every hour, another person in the UK goes blind,” said Jayne George, director of fundraising at Guide Dogs. “Blind and partially sighted people overcome extraordinary challenges everyday to live independently and do the things that the rest of us take for granted.

“We’re asking people to ‘Walk My Way’ and raise money for Guide Dogs Week 2012. Whether they come along to our event and try walking in blindfold, or organise their own challenge, we’re sure they’ll find it a rewarding experience.”

The research also explored the things that people in the South East would miss most if they lost their sight.

The majority of those surveyed (78 per cent) say they would miss seeing the faces of their loved ones the most. Not being able to see beautiful landscapes comes second (43 per cent) in the survey.

More than a quarter of respondents say they would miss seeing the changing seasons, but only seven per cent say they would miss seeing food the most.