Sight Loss

Sight Loss Registration

Sight Loss registration is a very personal matter. It simply means that the social services from your local authority will have you on their register of people who are either Sight Impaired (Partially Sighted) or Severe Sight Impaired (Blind). Being registered is voluntary and confidential. Unless you wish them to be, these details are not shared.

To be registered as Sight Impaired or Severe Sight Impaired, you can simply make an appointment to visit your local high street optometrists. They will be able to assess your vision standards and if necessary, with your consent, refer you to the Eye Department to see an ophthalmologist (eye specialist doctor). Alternatively, your general practitioner (GP) may refer you for registration.

In the UK only an ophthalmologist can register you as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired.

What will your ophthalmologist do?

Your ophthalmologist will assess your eye health and make detailed measurements of your visual acuity and field of vision. Eligibility for registration is only confirmed when certain criteria are fulfilled. Details of these can be found on the RNIB webpage:

If your ophthalmologist does not feel you are eligible for Registration, it may be because they are anticipating some significant recovery of sight because you are receiving treatment, you may not meet the criteria, or indeed the loss of vision is not likely to be permanent.

If you have sight loss in one eye only and your other eye has good sight plus a full field of vision, you will not meet with the criteria for registration.


There are many charity groups offering support services in most areas of the UK plus ECLO’s, (Eye Clinic Liaison Officers), attached to hospital eye clinics to help you with rehabilitation following sight loss.

Social Services have a Sensory Loss Team who can visit you in your home to assist you with rehabilitating daily living tasks and with mobility training; many UK charities offer invaluable support, from white cane training to regaining your independence in the technological world.

Guide Dogs, RNIB, Macula Society, International Glaucoma Association, Esme’s Umbrella, Nystagmus Network, Retina UK, to name a few.

Useful websites