Help and support with sight loss

If you are experiencing problems with your sight or have been diagnosed with a sight loss condition, there is support available from your local council and partnership agencies.

If you would like information for children and young people, there is also our article on visual impairment in our local offer.

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What is visual impairment (sight loss)

Loss of sight can be caused by the natural aging process and a wide range of conditions including glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa and strokes.

Getting help

If you are concerned about your sight, contact your local optician as they may be able to correct it.

If your optician identifies anything that they are unable to deal with they will, with your consent, contact your GP who can then refer you for treatment to a specialist eye clinic at Bristol Eye Hospital.

If you have sight loss you may be worried that your condition could affect your social and work life and how you manage at home.

If you have been referred to the Bristol Eye Hospital the Eye Clinic Liaison officer (ECLO) can provide practical help with:

  • benefits
  • referrals to support agencies and charities
  • help with registering with your local authority as Blind or Partially sighted
  • advocacy

Registering as blind or partially sighted

Being registered as blind or partially sighted can allow access to the Blind Persons tax allowance and a free or discounted television licence.

Following diagnosis

If you are diagnosed with sight loss you can get further help and support from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) who can provide information on Benefits, money advice, employment and equalities and where you can access the Talking Books service and an online shop.

Sight Support West of England provides the statutory Visual Impairment Service for Adults in South Gloucestershire. Every adult living with sight loss is offered rehabilitation to regain and maintain as much independence as possible. You can contact them via:

Dual sensory impairment (sight loss and hearing loss)

Dual sensory impairment is when people have sight loss and hearing loss.

If you are dual sensory impaired you can find tailored support, advice, and information from Sense and Deafblind UK.

These organisations provide a wealth of information including wellbeing and emotional support, technology, social groups, and holidays.

Further help

The council have useful advice on their website about Assistive Technology that can support you in your home and allow you to remain independent.

You can also request an assessment from the council for equipment to help with your hearing loss, such as amplified phones, pager systems or hearing loops. An assessment is free but there may be a charge for equipment or services.

If you would like to request an assessment, contact the First Contact team on 01454 868007 or by email csodesk@southglos.gov.uk.