Monday, March 5, 2012

Dreaming Blind

Everyone dreams whether they remember them or not is another story. The images depicted during sleep depend on the person who develops them. I was recently askedhow a blind person dreams? Does a person who is born blind have different dreams from someone who became blind?

The answers are simple. Blind people dream just like a sighted person. The only difference is the types of dreams that they have. Just as no two people are the same, neither are their dreams. Dreams are based on thoughts, memories and experiences.

That being said, it would obviously be difficult for a person who has been blind since birth to dream images. They do not have any visual memories or experiences to draw from. This is not to say that they are incapable of having a dream. It has been said that some people have what is called an auditory dream. This means the person dreams in sounds and voices. The dream will exhibit scenarios based on the dreamers experiences but in an all audio format with no pictures.

As for people who became blind later in life, their dreams depend on at what age they lost their sight. For example, a person who lost their sight at age fifty are going to have more visual experiences to draw from then a person who lost their sight at age five.

Personally, I dream as though I were still sighted. My sight really started to decline at age twenty. My sight in the waking hours was limited at best. In dreamland though my dreams have always been vivid and clear as crystal. The only time I don’t see things properly in my dreams is when I’m picturing something or someone that I’ve never actually seen. If I’m dreaming about a person they might have blurry features but are still present visually in some form or another. Sometimes my mind even makes up their appearance but what I think they might look like. Sometimes, I get this right other times the person looks the exact opposite of what I imagined.

I’m glad I dream so vividly. It gives me the opportunity to see faces and places I would have otherwise forgotten. It keeps me aquainted with the things that are most important to me. This way when the genious’s of the medical world invent a cure for my eye condition. Although, I do admit that I am slightly worried about this. People aren’t going to look just as I remember them. I wonder if I will even recognize certain people.

If you are a blind person reading this how do you dream? If you became blind later in life are your dreams different from when you could see? If you are sighted, what do you think you would miss the most if you only had auditory dreams?

If you have thoughts to these questions please log them in the comment section of this post. Also, feel free to ask any questions of your own. If I can’t answer them maybe one of the visually impaired readers wouldn’t mind fielding it.

As always thanks for reading.


  1. Great story. I always wonder what language a person dreams in if they migrated from another country. Keep up the great stories Nikki.

  2. P.S. you should become a writer.

  3. Great story. I always wonder what language a person dreams in if they migrated from another country. Keep up the great stories Nikki.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I just sort of stumbled across this site (it's very interesting!) and have no friends or family who are blind or have low vision. However, I have worked on accessibility-related projects in the past and consider that to be an area I feel strongly about.

    The reason I decided to comment was because I can answer Terra-Beth's question. I'm Swedish, but have also lived in the United States at various times in my life. The combination of that, English instruction in school from the age of nine and my own interest in language learning has resulted in my being fully bilingual. I use both Swedish and English on a daily basis and can think in both languages with no problems at all.

    As far as dreaming goes, I dream in either language or even none at all. If I'm talking to someone in a dream, the language used will depend on the person I'm talking to. I think what many bilinguals realize though is how much of our thinking, even while fully awake, happens at a sort of "pre-language" level, for lack of a better word. By that I mean that you have thought that are language like but not fully formed or "dressed" in any particular language. I can sometimes catch myself having a pretty sophisticated train of thought and realizing that I can't remember what language I was thinking in!

  6. Christine, I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. It's okay if you or no one you know is blind. Sometimes I think the blog is more for people like you, then it's for people like me. I love that you dream and think in both languages that's fasinating. I've always wanted to be fluent in other languages but so far, I can only speak a little Spanish. Thanks again for checking out the blog and I would like to invite you to sign up to be a follower for Playing The Blind Card so you can receive EMail updates when new posts are published. I've also recently started a new blogged called Nicole Rae's Blog where I talk about writing and my life. I have a young adult paranormal fiction book coming out soon and that's where you can get info about that as well. It's a new site, with not as many followers but I hope to change that soon:) There is a link to it on this site or you can follow the address

  7. Brian, OMG! I accidentally deleted your comment. Please do not take offense it was not done intentionally. I actually loved your comment and was trying to respond more at length how much I enjoyed it when I somehow deleted it. Apparently I'm having some kind of malfunction. Right under the post title is the delete button. I'm supposed to click on the post title in order to get to where I can respond to comments. I clicked on the post title and instead it registered that I hit delete. Thank you Jaws (text to speech program) for deleting the second comment today for no good reason. Please forgive me and I hope you will recomment. Your prospective was very interesting and valuable for other readers to learn.

  8. You have shared interesting article,that happens with most of the people.

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