‘Face blindness’ – a shocking fact


By Faz Zia


Many of us can be seen as thankless people because we complain too much and aren’t grateful for what he have. In this world there are many problems and diseases which we don’t even know about but we start cursing ourselves and others when we get a cold or headache. I watched a morning show last week and there was a lady who as a guest on the show and was talking about face blindness, this was completely new to me. 

When I was listening to her I was shocked that face blindness means you forget the face of a person you have just seen within a few seconds. It doesn’t mean that you can’t see but face blindness is the inability to recognise faces. It is also called “prosopagnosia”, it is a cognitive disorder of face perception in which the ability to recognize familiar faces, including one’s own face (self-recognition), is impaired, while other aspects of visual processing (e.g., object discrimination) and intellectual functioning (e.g., decision-making). 

I know that with age people lose their memory and sometimes they forget things, names and places but imagine if you are sitting next to a person who suffers with face blindness and you having a conversation, a simple distraction could mean they look at you and not recognise you. A person suffering from face blindness on the BBC said, “my biggest problem is seeing the difference between ordinary-looking people, especially faces with few specific traits. 

“I work at a hospital with an awful lot of employees and I often introduce myself to colleagues with whom I have worked several times before. I also often have problems recognising my next-door neighbour, even though we have been neighbours for eight years now. She often changes clothes, hairstyle and hair colour. When I strive to recognise people, I try to use technical clues like clothing, hairstyle, scars, glasses, their dialect and so on.”

Face blindness is rare and the ratio is 2 in 100, it is a lifelong problem without any brain damage. There is no cure or treatments for prosopagnosia but therapy can help treat any anxiety or depression related to the condition. Researchers are currently working on ways to help individuals with this problem improve theirface recognition.

It is not a disability it is a-neurological disorder and not any learning, memory loss, impaired vision .  “Prosopagnosia is thought to be the result of abnormalities, damage, or impairment in the right fusiform gyrus, a fold in the brain that appears to coordinate the neural systems that control facial perception and memory. Prosopagnosia can result from stroke, traumatic brain injury, or certain neurodegenerative diseases. (https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Prosopagnosia-Information-Page)

When we say health is wealth it is absolutely true because we take ourselves for granted, we live a healthy life, we have hot food on our plates and sleep in our cozy bed and heated house. We need to think of those people who are sleeping rough in this cold weather, we recognise our loved ones imagine you didn’t recognise your own child? Imagine how that mother feels?

Lets give thanks and pray for all the times that we are able to live a normal life. The ups and down is a part of our journey but let’s carry on with gratitude.