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Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Living With One Eye - Six Years On

(04/06/23)  On 23 May 2017 Steven Howard, Founder and Editor of TravelNewsAsia.com, had an accident in Roi-Et, Thailand that ultimately led to him losing his right eye.

Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.
Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

Six years on, Steven shares what he has learned from living with just one eye and encourages others in the same position to get in touch to share their thoughts and stories.

In the video and podcast below, recorded on 23 May 2023, Steven explains how his life has changed since the accident, what others should be aware of if they have lost an eye, and some of the things that he says help.

He also shares some of the experiences that he has had since the accident and explains how he learned from them.

Steven explains why he does not use his fake eye, and how he wishes a company like Nike or Adidas would make strong, comfortable, lightweight and breathable half moon eye patches in a range of colours and styles.

And, whilst it may seem obvious, he also stresses why making sure that you protect the one good eye that you have left is so very important and why you should never, ever put it at risk - as he did once.

In addition to inviting those who have also lot an eye to get in touch to share their experiences and what they have learned, Steven invites companies who have products or are working on products that are designed to help those with just one eye to get in touch to do a video interview about them.

ADDENDUM 4 June 2023: I would like to clarify a few things about the comments I made in the video and may even do a short video as a part II about this.

Before the accident I was a normal guy, I played all the normal sports at school - football, cricket, rugby, swimming, athletics etc. - and of course had plenty of injuries and accidents. I cut my knee wide open in a ditch and have also broken my arm in England, needed stitches in Hong Kong and again after an accident in Phuket. None of those things changed my outlook on life, I did not try to be more careful, I just lived life as per normal which is what I think most people do.

However, losing an eye changes that, and you do absolutely have to change your lifestyle and understand the differences that having only one eye mean to your every day life. Think for example of what would happen if you are driving and suddenly a fly or piece of dust enters your one good eye. For most people they would cope as their good eye would mean that they could see, but if you have only one then you would suddenly be driving blind. Literally. Think about that for a moment.

Something else to consider when driving, or just when you are out and about, is that when the sun is very bright and low in the sky it can be difficult to see when you are facing the sun. That is the same for those with two eyes, but I do think that it is slightly worse after the accident than before. Of course, using memory like that is not all that reliable as the mind tends to play tricks, but I would advise you to have sunglasses or at least polaroid lens glasses available if this affects you, especially when driving although these days most windshields are tinted anyway. Remember though, if you are walking or running and wear dark glasses people have no way of knowing that you only have one eye and may not give you a little extra space out of polite consideration.

Depth of field is one of the biggest changes and in the video I talk about steps and how I now always slow down to better judge the depth of each step. It doesn't have to be many steps, just one can cause problems. But whilst I do think steps can be dangerous, if taken without due care and attention, this issue about depth of field happens all the time. Putting a plate down on the kitchen top or trying to put a key in a lock, for example. Simple things that most people would not think twice about, but I do because all too often I misjudge the depth and as I do not want to break a plate (especially the expensive ones with sentimental value) I tend to be a lot more careful, using my fingers to guide me as I outline in the video.

One of my relatives said she thought this depth of field issue is psychological, which it is not, but then that same relative - who is an adult - also thinks ducks can't fly, so... 🤔🤣

Another thing I would like to mention is about the eye patches. Yes, I would love Nike or Adidas to make some that are lightweight, breathable, strong and available in a range of colours and sizes. Why? The ones I have tried are OK, but not really sustainable. The half moon version is made of cardboard so they get crushed in bags, are hot to wear and once you get them wet they are useless. I do wear my eye patch sometimes, but people look at you differently when you wear one, at least they do me. I get the impression that many people think I am off to a fancy dress party as a pirate! It can get quite annoying, though perhaps I should solve this issue by simply going to more fancy dress parties!

On this page and in the video I have not talked about the many repercussions of my injury which are personal to me, as everyone's case and associated injuries will be different. What is discussed above and in the video is about living with just one eye.

Again, if you have recently lost an eye or know someone who has, please do get in touch. I am happy to answer any questions you may have, and if you would like to do a video interview about your experience then I will gladly do it. Thank you, stay safe and be strong!

Living With One Eye - Six Years On by Steven Howard

PODCAST

Latest exclusive video interviews9 HD Video Interviews from Routes Asia 2024 in Langkawi, Malaysia; Standard to Open Residences in Hua Hin and Phuket, Thailand; Video Interview with Amar Lalvani, Executive Chairman; 9 Exclusive Video Interviews from ASEAN Tourism Forum 2024 in Vientiane, Laos; 8 NTO Press Conferences from ASEAN Tourism Forum 2024 in Vientiane, Laos; 13 HD Video Interviews from World Travel Market 2023 in London, England; 5 HD Video Interviews from APG World Connect 2023 in Monaco, France; 15 HD Video Interviews from Routes World 2023 in Istanbul, Türkiye; and Electric Airport Taxis at Almaty Airport (ALA) in Kazakhstan - HD Video Interview with CEO.



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