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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice

Sight and hearing - help and advice

Advice and help for those with sight and/or hearing loss.

Sight loss

Your sight may have deteriorated gradually as part of a long term health issue or your sight loss may have happened suddenly.

The RNIB have a lot of information about sight loss.

Get advice from an optician as soon as you start to experience changes to your sight, however small.

If you already have sight loss it's important to look out for signs that your hearing is being affected. Visit your GP if you have any concerns.

Dorset Blind Association and Bournemouth Blind Society are local organisations who offer advice and support to those with sight loss.

The RNIB have a free telephone counselling service for people who have lost or are losing their sight.

The My Guide service run by Guide Dogs is a free service which matches a person living with sight loss to a volunteer. The volunteer is trained in sighted guiding and can help you to leave the house and build up confidence in mobility. Together you will work towards aims of independence, which may be learning the route to your local shop, learning the route to the bus stop and building confidence to use the bus alone. They can even help you to take up a hobby.

The South West Dorset Talking Newspaper provides a weekly dose of local news and a talking magazine, free of charge, to people who are either blind or partially sighted. It serves the Weymouth, Portland, Lyme Regis, Bridport, Dorchester, Sherborne and Blandford areas and has listeners all over Dorset.

Hearing loss

Hearing loss often develops with age and can happen over time although sometimes it can occur suddenly.

As soon as you notice any problems with your hearing you should see your GP.

NHS Choices has information about the symptoms and treatment of hearing loss.

If you already have a hearing problem it's important to look out for signs that your sight is being affected. Visit your GP if you have any concerns.

Action on Hearing Loss provide further information and advice about living with hearing loss.


People are considered deafblind if their combined sight and hearing impairment causes difficulty with:

  • communication
  • mobility
  • access to information

Visit your GP if you think your hearing and/or eyesight may be changing. It's important to get advice as soon as possible as treatment for some underlying causes of deafblindness can be more effective if started early.

NHS Choices and DeafblindUK have further information about deafblindness.

Equipment to help

Equipment is available to help you carry out daily tasks.

The RNIB has advice about equipment to help if you have sight loss.

Action on Hearing Loss has advice about equipment to help if you have hearing loss.


Our libraries offer audiobooks and e-books.

Sight and hearing centres

Sight and hearing centres are located across Dorset.

Home visiting sight and hearing tests

If you struggle to get out of the house and need a sight test or hearing test in your own home, we have information in our directory.

Find a home visiting sight and hearing test

Support groups

You may want to go to a support group to talk to others with sight and hearing loss.

Find a hearing loss support group

Find a sight loss support group

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