Do people who have alzheimers go blind?


Registered User
Dec 22, 2003
I have been onto this website a few times in the past and always found it helpful. My mother is in the late stages of alzheimers and up until recently I managed to get a smile from her now and again. The last couple of times I have visited her however she doesn't seem to be focusing and when I try to get her attention by sitting opposite and talking to her, it's like she doesn't see me. Her eyes look empty if you know what I mean. Is blindness one of the things that happens towards the end?


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi Adele


and not only towards the end. I registered my wife as blind this summer. She could outlive me, and I'm 7 years younger than she is. Her effective sight had been gone at least 6 months, but no-one else ever seemed to notice it.

The blindness is not organic - that is, the eyes could see if the neural connections were able to interpret what the eyes were seeing, or if the eye muscles could be controlled by the brain to focus. The eyes drift away, one eye may go lazy.

a complication is that the speech is often also impaired, so they can't say they can't see, and they can't explain to a consultant what they see when placed in front of an eye chart. I simply explained what was wrong to the consultant, he said "I see" and he signed her off as blind.

So what do you do to get attention? I sit nose to nose with my wife so she can feel me next to her; I talk all the time so she can sense direction. I say my name all the time, in case one time she can recognise it. Sometimes she gives the most beautiful smile and may even say "oh yes", and that makes any and all my efforts worth while.

On top of all the other problems, the blindness seems the cruellest stroke.

It is possible that your Mum is not blind of course. Sometimes the patients retreat into themselves and the eyes can just de-focus as they do that.


Registered User
Dec 21, 2004
Hi Adele, I am thankful I found this post as it was one of the questions that I was going to raise - it has been answered now!!
My dear wife has suffered from glacoma for some years before the onset of alzheimers some 4 years ago, 18 months ago she complained that her glasses seemed faulty and I duly took her to the opticians and paid for some new "upgraded" ones these unfortunately didn't seem to be any better so we went back - the senior partner re-examined her and recommended she see her GP. Gp refers her to the Ophthalmologist who thinks it could be cataracts but re refers her to a consultant optician who says it's not. So we see the Ophthalmologist again on the 13 Jan 2005 and I am now able to tell him exactly what Brucie has written. Incidently, the GP recommended that Ann applied for a Blue Badge for parking the car because of her walking and other difficulties and she has got one, all I need now is a wheelchair (application in the pipeline) to push her in. God bless and hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Guid New Year.