My name is Andy Ogg and on June 1st, 2017, I was formally diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa or RP for short.
I am a father, husband, son and friend to amazing people and I wouldn’t change the people in my life for anything, not even to have my sight back. They are truly everything to me and while I continue down this long road of vision impairment and visual loss, there is NO OTHERS that I would want with me on this adventure.
From youth, I have loved the ocean and began my passion for surfing at age 4. To this day, I still surf, as often as I can. Whether it was skateboarding, dirt bikes, off roading, surfing, or adveeturing around the world, my vision has not stopped me. It has altered the way in which I do things and how long it may take me to do it, however, I have found creative and unique ways of doing things that are pretty difficult with my lack of vision.
My 2017 diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa has been a huge hit. The formality of knowing what is wrong with my sight has caused depression, stress, anxiety, lack of self confidence and much more.. There are days that I wish I was never diagnosed, however, knowing is power and with this knowledge, I am in hope that my story will help someone or provide insight into vision loss and visual impairments.
In December of 2017, I was declared Legally Blind by my Retinal Specialist with a 20/200 vision and only 15 degrees of vision remaining from the Retinitis Pigmentosa. While this genetic disease continues to take my vision, it won’t take me with it.
Timeline of Notable Vision Losses
At age 5, I was having trouble in school, not because of my intelligence but because I couldn’t read a chalkboard or a whiteboard. At that time, I got my first pair of glasses and continued on with life.
I would often request my teachers throughout school to provide printed documents of class materials as I was unable to see a overhead projector, chalkboard and whiteboard if they used any color other than black.
My vision continued to deteriorate. my myopia worsened causing a very high presciption for my contacts.
Began to notice my lack of night time vision, especially at dusk.
During my College career, I found seeing professors, presentations, and notes provided on a whiteboard, extremely difficult. I would often request print outs of the materials to read and review at home.
Began to notice limited vision at night, playing it off as “clumsy” but avoiding night time activities.
My night blindness had become very difficult to avoid. Along with a noticeable loss of peripheral vision, I was aware my vision was getting worst. Ignorantly, I was hoping that Lasik or medical advancements would help.
Reality of my visual issues began to become more evident. Running into things, tripping, accidentally bumping into my daughter or wife. All of the above and much more began to become much more frequent and severe. My peripheral vision was noticeably less than it once was causing me not to be able to see items that should be seen.
Formally diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa.
December of 2017 – Declared Legally Blind with a 15 degree visual field and a 20/200 visual capability.
Further loss of my field of vision to 12 degrees. Also informed of a thinning Retinal Detachment which can result in complete blindness.
December of 2019 – Beginning use of accessibility tools (cane, magnifiers, screen readers, voiceover)