People rely mostly on their vision on how they perceive the world. Any problem in the visual field is often seen as severely debilitating, but many have overcome these health difficulties and have made a success of their lives.
Admittedly, these people would have found it difficult if it were not for the progress of diagnostic medicine and surgical practice. Here are some of the most people whose eye problems have not hampered their desire to succeed.
The Impressionist painter became famous in the 1890s with his paintings of water lilies, Japanese gardens, and landscapes in different seasons. Many of his paintings seemed blurry and unclear, and many have speculated that it might have been to Monet’s cataract, which gave dull-colored objects a yellow hue. Monet had cataract surgery later, but it was not as sophisticated as the cataract extraction we have these days.
U2’s charismatic lead singer has been a passionate advocate for many things and has been famous for wearing sunglasses of different colors and shapes. But Bono’s sunglasses are more than just a rock star’s passing whim. Bono was diagnosed with glaucoma, despite enjoying perfect vision for many years. The disease could result in eventual vision loss if left untreated, but it was his regular eye exams that saved the singer’s vision.
Apl.de.ap (Allan Pineda Lindo) of the Black Eyed Peas
The rapper suffered several eye problems before having eye surgery. He was living in poverty in the Philippines when the Pearl S. Buck Foundation found an American sponsor to adopt him. Then 14, Apl.de.ap had nystagmus and was severely nearsighted when he first went to the United States. Then, the surgeons inserted artificial lenses in his eyes; but now, he also wears sunglasses as protection. He has started a foundation that helps poor and marginalized people in the Philippines.
The tennis player suffers from an autoimmune disease that affects the tear ducts and other moisture glands in the body. This leads to a condition called dry eye and can cause eye pain and blurry vision. Since there is no cure, Williams has to bring eye drops and artificial tears to keep her eyeballs moist. Despite the condition, Williams is one of the most successful tennis players in the world.
A unique and inspirational figure, Helen Keller was an activist and lecturer who was the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor’s degree. Her book, The Story of My Life, was an instant bestseller. When she was still a baby, she suffered an unknown illness. Some people speculate it was meningitis, but it eventually made her deaf and blind. It wasn’t until when Anne Sullivan became her teacher that Helen became aware of the world. With Anne Sullivan, Helen went to school and started reading braille and sign language.
Losing your vision might seem like the end of the world, but for these famous people they used it as a vehicle to show their perception of the world, a stepping stone to bigger and better things, or as another hurdle to overcome in this life. They proved to the world and to themselves that what they could see is not limited to what their eyes show them.