View Full Version : Being blinded/having eyes removed?

07-09-2009, 04:12 PM
I tried to search and couldn't find anything about this, so if someone else has ever asked this, sorry.

Anyway, I have a character who needs to be blinded. Not only that, her eyes have to basically be removed, or damaged to the extent that the iris's color cannot be seen.

This is for a fantasy WIP, so no modern medical equipment.

Would this be possible without a raging deadly infection? How bad would the pain be, and how long would it take the physical injury to heal so that the character could be up and moving around again.

Also, how long would it take for a formerly sighted person to adjust to being blind?


Kitty Pryde
07-10-2009, 05:42 AM
I think you could scramble things up with a knife sterilized in flame or in alcohol, and that would do your trick (sorry, gross). I'd think several weeks to be up and about. Very very very painful. And afters, I'd think they'd want to wear something to cover their eyes.

FWIW cataracts can do the job too. They are caused by lots of things. They can cause blindness and obscure eye color. Some type of magical energy release/light flash could do it in an instant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cataract

As far as adjusting, what do you mean? Able to navigate? Able to echolocate (yes, people can do it too, look it up)? Able to cook dinner for four? Able figure out where people are standing and what they're doing? Able to shoot an intruder with a crossbow? There's all sorts of levels of adjusting. And a lot of it depends on personality. How much is your character a go-getter? How much is he willing to try and fall and get back up, over and over again? Really bold folks will adjust more easily (in my observation). You can find a lot of personal experiences in memoir type books and blogs and such.

Tsu Dho Nimh
07-10-2009, 07:57 AM
If it's a fantasy, I'd make up an herb or potion that can do what you need. Kinda like dilithium crystals

As for adapting - as the previous post said, adapt to do what? Depends on your world's way of dealing with blindness - is it common enough that they have developed training and Braille-like text, or so rare that no one knows what to do?

07-15-2009, 06:34 AM
In ancient greece they would often blind famous story tellers to keep them as slaves, so that they wouldn't run away (cutting off your asses foot eh?) anyway, i know (unless i was told wrong) they blinded homer by putting red hot nails in his eyes.

didn't say how long that's supposed to hurt for, but i would imagine about the avarage three to four weeks for the body to heal from a wound. I had a dog have an eye get popped out, and we could never hold him down long enough to pop it back in. It fell off after about three weeks. grew a skin too. ewww.

But seriously, why were they blinding them, that seems to be a way to get someone to write some pretty bad stories just on purpose.

"Tell us a story!"
"Alright, I'll tell you the story of the last thing I saw."

07-15-2009, 07:15 PM
If it's a fantasy, I'd just go with something magical or mystical. It'd be a nice break from all the times my realism sends me to my doctor cousin, message boards, WebMD, etc...

07-17-2009, 10:07 PM
Anything on fire falling (or being placed) across the face at the right time should do the trick. Probably leave one hellacious scar as well. Or a splash of something molten. For that matter, someone could pour an acidic substance (maybe lye?) into the eye sockets.

Then again, I read somewhere that it is possible to be born without eyes.

You might want to read up on things via Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindness).

07-17-2009, 10:42 PM
Just a few cool medical facts about eyes that might be interesting.

Eyes are not separate organs. They are actually an extention of the brain and are made up of pretty much the same tissue as the brain. Eyes have trauma and heal on the same scale as brain injuries.

The irises are actually little bits of colored skin within the eye, but are not a part of the eye itself. It is possible to injure your eye and have the iris "fall out", leaving the eye without that natural line of protection and defense. I heard the story of how a kid had injured his eye (poked himself with a pencil, IIRC) and the father kept pulling at this little brown thing sticking out of the kid's eye. Kid would scream, cry and finally beat on Dad's arm to get him to stop. Turns out, Dad was picking the iris out of his eye. It took major surgery to make it right again, but the kid did get his vision back.

The lens of the eye is actually one of the rare bits of skin on the body that is totally transparent. Besides the other eye, the other one is locate on one of the intestines, IIRC.

The bone of the eye socket is so thin and fragile, it can be easily broken by common accidents. It is scant millimeters from the brain and can send bone shards into either the frontal lobe or the eye. Such an injury can cause minor to fatal amounts of damage, depending on several factors.

At work, I coordinate an annual didactic conference and one of our past speakers gave a lecture on eye trauma. This was some of the bits of information I picked up. Mondo cool, eh?

Fact aside, if you're writing Fantasy--write whatever's neat and cool and make it work. Part of the joys of writing the genre.