“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Fear, what is it? It is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous. For many, the unknown is dangerous… Not knowing what to expect. Fear can cause a person to think of the worst case scenario, thus causing the fight or flight response. When it comes to the unknown, one fear that exists pertains to a person’s health. Living in an individualistic, able bodied society, it can be unfathomable to get sick or have a disability. It is hard for them to imagine living their life any differently.
In 2012/2013, a study was conducted, where Americans were surveyed on their biggest fear. The poll concluded that Americans feared becoming blind more than having a massive heart attack. Can you believe that? Many Americans would rather have their life in danger than be without their eyesight. Years later, in 20016, the perception did not changed.
According to Research America, who conducted a national online poll, 88% out of over 2,000 respondents, found good eyesight vital to overall health. In comparison to other disabilities, such as hearing, memory, or amputation, Americans ranked the fear of losing their eyesight equal to or worse than them. Could this fear be due to the fact that we live in such a visual society, and not having access to that information can be daunting? I am not sure, but what I do know is that there needs to be more awareness surrounding the lives of those with disabilities. Sure, I didn’t ask to be blind, but I also don’t think it is the end of the world. You learn to adapt. You learn different techniques to carry out the same daily tasks you completed before the acquired disability. So, lets broaden the scope before acting. To read the study in it’s entirety, Visit the Journal of JAMA Ophthalmology.