The Reality of Retinopathy of Prematurity – Guest Post by Holly

Holly’s guest post is the 24th post in the segment on my blog, called “The Reality Of…” which gives others the ability to share their story and raise awareness of the disabilities, illnesses, impairments and invisible illnesses that they have.

Meet Holly!

My name is Holly, I’m 23 and from the UK.

My Story

I’m registered as blind due to a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) as I was born at 24 weeks. I have a detached retina in my left eye and can only see light and dark out of my right, so I have no useful vision.

Common Symptoms

When I was a baby, I had an operation to stop my retina from detaching. This caused chronic inflammation which causes various symptoms, my left eye can often feel very sore and itchy, it can also sometimes be red and swollen. I have eye drops to help control the symptoms. These symptoms are especially bad in the summer months, I also suffer from photophobia (sensitivity to bright light) which is especially bad in he sun.

My left eye can often feel rather sore and irritable which isn’t very nice, when my eyes get sensitive to the sun I find myself wanting to shut my eyes so I always wear sunglasses. When they’re playing up they feel really uncomfortable.

In general terms, having a vision impairment has had an impact on my life in so many ways, it’s given me the chance to learn unique skills such as learning to use a long cane, learning braille, and being able to use ide range of assistive technology.

Growing up with a vision impairment hasn’t always been easy but it as so many positives.

Learning To Adapt

I’ve learnt to see life from a different perspective. I’ve learned what adaptions I need, what support I may need and how to do things to the same standard as sighted people, just with a few adaptions. I use a long cane, can read braille and use a range of assistive technology such as a screen-reader to do daily activities including using a computer, using a phone and getting around independently.

I have my own ways of doing daily tasks and things that sighted people do that work for me. I’ve adapted to life with a vision impairment in so many other ways – learning to accept my disability, fight for my rights and what I’m entitld to, speaking up for myself and avocating for myself.

Changing As A Person

My vision impairment makes me view things in a different way, for example I don’t judge a person on the way they look, I really get to know them and view them on their personality. My disability is a part of my identity but it isn’t the only thing that defines me, I have other interests including music, beauty and fashion. I feel like my disability has really made me a lot stronger and more resilient.

My Favourite Superheroes

I’d definitely say my friends and family, they’ve helped me through a lot so they are my (human) superheroes.

Music is such an important part of my life and it’s helped me through some pretty tough times so I’d say that Jessie J is also my superhero, her music has helped me through a lot and I don’t know where I would be without her or her music as it’s really helped me on my own personal journey with my disability.

Thanks Holly for sharing your story with my readers and me!

If you would like to stay up to date with Holly, then you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and her blog, Life Of A Blind Girl!

4 thoughts on “The Reality of Retinopathy of Prematurity – Guest Post by Holly

  1. This is a really interesting post, Holly and very inspiring too. It has the positive stamp all over it and it is great how you adapt doing things to your own style. Anyone who is visually impaired will surely be encouraged by this and I love your spirit! Thanks for sharing your story and all the very best for the future. x 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing Holly’s story, Ami. I am following her blog now. Her story hits close to home because my daughter is visually impaired. She has FEVR which is different, yet similar. She was born with a detached retina in her left eye and has no vision in it. Luckily, she still has vision in her right eye. Every few months, she has to get laser surgery in her functioning eye to preserve the vision she has.

    Liked by 1 person

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