look but don't see

My husband can look for an object and not see it. It's as though his brain blocks out the sight and he gets so frustrated. He expects not to be able to find anything, and then he honestly can"t. Do any of you have that problem? He just spent two hours looking for an object in the yard that I found right where it should have been. It's a constant problem in the refrigerator.

10 Replies

  • My husband has the same issue. We had a mental assessment administered by a psychiatrist that specializes in people with neurological diseases. My highly intelligent hubby has the beginnings of dementia, but still functions within the normal level. I know the difference, but most people do not.

    The doctor said my husband is most affected in his ability to make visual connections and that this is something that can manifest with dementia. He suggested my husband use verbal and physical reinforcement to help with this issue. If he puts his glasses down, he should say out loud, my glasses are by the bedside table. He can also write down where he has things stowed.

    I feel bad for my dear hubby when I can locate items so easily after he has been looking and looking. We laugh about it and try to keep it light. He was a marine fighter pilot and visual acuity was essential for him, so I know he is dismayed by this, but he just keeps plugging along.

  • Thank you so much for your reply. My husband was a successful civil engineer. I fear he has some dementia, even though assessments showed he was very close to normal cognitively..Every day is a new bought of frustration for him. He is going to be 78; his mother lived to be over 100 and stayed bright to the end.

  • I would not say that if I saw something my brain would not say " I do not see something there," but it would say I can not identify it. I studied a picture of army boots in a line and no matter how hard or how long I looked I could not figure what the picture was about.

    I also know of another incident when an architect could no longer understand blue prints. It was temporary but job crippling.

  • It sounds like the same problem being experienced in a different way.(brain and vision)So far he knows what he is looking at, just doesn't focus in on it. He tried reminding himself with lists, but this happens continually, too quickly he puts something down to miss later,when he thinks it is still in his pocket.

  • Yes! This is very common. When I am looking for something I have an image in my mind as to what it looks like. So If I am looking for a box that is about such and such a size and it is yellow in colour, and the object I am looking for is blue, or it is not in a box but a plastic bag, there is no way I am going to find that object. If I am looking for a letter or a piece of paper with words printed on it, and the object I am looking for is hand-written, I will not find it.

  • Hmm. Not being able to find things in plain sight seems like normal 'male' behaviour!

  • Good answer but I really hadn't thought before that it's related to PD. He also has double vision but eye Dr. says it'll go away. It involves nerves around one eye. Can't help but wonder if something happened due to catarac surgery last year.He sees better in general but reading glasses help.

  • I was under the impression that the inability to see objects in front of you was a symptom of something more serious than PD.

    I remember meeting a woman in the train who told me about her father who would sit down for dinner with his wife and eat off his wife's plate and ignore the plate of food that she prepared for him.

  • He sees objects just fine until he goes looking for them specifically. i'd sure not like the example above, although he did that in his youth when he didn't want to buy an extra bag of fries.

  • That's good. There are a number of conditions where people have trouble looking down. It becomes a real problem with balance and gait. Let's not go there. It's one of those Parkinson - like conditions.

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