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April 1968

The Blind Patient

Author Affiliations

Pasadena, Calif

Arch Ophthalmol. 1968;79(4):361. doi:10.1001/archopht.1968.03850040363001

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THE APPROACH of blindness in a patient provokes anxiety in his ophthalmologist who may give unjustified hope to prevent his own despair rather than that of the patient. With the advent of blindness, the physician may tend to withdraw from the patient; the patient's interpretation of this may be that the physician is blaming him for the catastrophe. Recognition of his own feelings should allow the ophthalmologist to remain a major support of the patient in his time of crisis.

The ophthalmologist, caring for a patient at the time of his visual loss, must realize that effective readjustment of the blind person will not occur until the patient recognizes the permanence of his blindness. If a patient has no possibility of future restoration of vision, giving even a little hope merely prevents him from taking the steps necessary to cope with his problem. The onset of blindness is likely to

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