Eye color and hair style
When I sit at a table and a person is looking straight at me, I do not see her face. So I peer past her with both eyes to see her head and at least roughly recognize her face. The finer features of a face are not recognizable to me at least, at this distance. This means that I can not use faces to recognise people.
How to light a candle
Sometimes the little things became suddenly a challenge. For example, lighting a candle. The long thin ones are not a problem. But the short thick ones....
There are situations where I puzzle over a remark or behaviour of people around me. This is not surprising in itself, to Stargardtians this happens frequently and constantly. The solution to the puzzle is always that I lacked a visual cue, or I've simply not seen the triggering event.
Those little travel adventures
For Stargardtiens faces are difficult to recognise. It is usually already a challenge to figure out if the person is looking at you or not. The distinguishing of facial expressions is only possible in particularly good light and only when the facial expressions are clear. This is an limiting factor when dealing with other people missing.
Stargardt also has an impact on the perception of space. I do not mean the simple oversight of an object on my walking way or on the table. There are moments where the whole space around me loses its third dimension.
Searching: brown on brown
Between searching and finding is there's usually seeing. Occasionally also listening. For a Stargardtien it's usually knowing. And often feeling one's way.
The blind presentation
It's surprising at first glance, what is achievable in the office in spite of Stargardt. On closer inspection however there are several obstacles that can be difficult to handle, especially when directly cooperating with other people. It starts with the simple reading of files and stops at the blind presentation.
Also, the detection of stains and dirt has its pitfalls. Often there's only a systematic approach - all or nothing. And sometimes the season helps.
Mobile phone under the magnifying glass
The modern mobile phones offer a wealth of useful tools and features for Stargarsters, starting with the electronic map or the use as a flashlight or magnifying glass up to the text reading features. Nevertheless, they also have some serious disadvantages.
As Stargardter stumbling is part of everyday life. Curbs, stairs, roots or just things that are in the hallway on the floor, and were not there when I went by there the last time. You get used to this fact as such and the occasional blue toe associated with it. But: You can also stumble over other things than objects.
Adventures at the ATM
ATMs - here as representative for all other automates such as tickets, self-checkout at the grocery store, or check-in at the airport - have evolved considerably since their introduction. But despite all the improvements they are always good for surprises.
On many occasions in daily live eye contact is important. It signals attention, respect and sincerity. Or it signals the driver that I want to cross the street or the waiter in the restaurant that I want to pay. As Stargarster that is not quite as straight forward as it sounds.
My third eye
It seems strange at first glance that a Stargardter like me puts so much time and effort into photography. But I have learned to use my poor eyesight as a strength here. The fact that I see less, makes me see more of my subjects.
The quiet ones are the dangerous ones
Obviously, traffic is a problem. I've given up riding a bike a while ago after I've overlooked and rammed a parked car. As a pedestrian, I've got a little more reaction time, because I'm slower. The basic problem is that an oncoming vehicle can be completely invisible to me if my blind spot happens to fall on it.
How much are 10% ?
My eye doctor tells me regularly that my eyesight is at 10%. This is determined by the usual letters and numbers in various sizes, which are projected on the wall. Sometimes you can still see the panels with the many E's showing to the left, right, up or down. The largest are at the top, towards the bottom they are getting smaller. 10% equals the top two or three lines that I can still see. With my glasses, of course, without glasses, I don't see a thing on these panels. But what means 10% then?
About fast objects that I am confronted with (e.g. cars) and the associated difficulties I have spoken before. The same applies vice versa when I myself am quickly moving: I see things too late or react too late.
Selective and punctual seeing
Seeing is like any perceptive process is selective. We see certain things consciously other we overlook. This is useful protection against an otherwise not hand able information overload. But what astonishes me again and again how punctually people see.
What am I eating here?
A beautifully set table or a sumptuous buffet is a fine thing. However, for stargardters, they hold some surprises, with which the cooks or hosts die probably not expect: Strange menu combinations or poking around on an empty plate.
Looking at it by looking away from it
An effect of Stargardt is that it is sometimes not so clear who or what I'm looking at. If I want to fix something or look at someone, I need to specifically look next to it with both eyes to see anything. I'm cross-eyed with both eyes at the same time. If I look at the object of interest straight forward, it is completely gone and I do not see anything.
About toilet lids and vases
Recently at my place of work, I went to the restroom. When I walked into one of the compartments and got ready for my task, I halted puzzled.- Since when do we have toilet lids? In recent times much has been renovated and re-built in the building and I was prepared to search again for some offices and learn new locations. But the toilets were still in the same place and excluded from the construction work. Then I looked at it a second time, and behold, there was only the usual toilet seat there. My first look at must has been aligned in such a way that my blind spot came to lie exactly on the toilet seat. My brain quickly filled the gap and inserted a toilet lid.
Binoculars in the train station
When I 'm travelling, I usually have some binoculars with me, especially when I move into areas I don't know well. I need the binoculars than to read street signs or house numbers. For others, this looks somewhat confusing, as I stand at very unusual places and watch something with my binoculars. On a hike, instead of looking at the view I stand with my back to it and look at the rock wall behind the tail because the signpost is standing there.