What Is Face Blindness? Know All About This Brain Disorder

Face Blindness is a serious brain disorder that can affect your life, here is what you should know about this disorder.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Apr 04, 2022Updated at: Apr 04, 2022
What Is Face Blindness? Know All About This Brain Disorder

Eyes provide us with valuable vision that enables us to imagine things and world around us. It is not necessary that a person has full blindness where he is unable to see anything. There are even different types of blindness that are not associated with eye disorders. Face blindness is one of the problems that is not known by many people but it can be quite disturbing. This is a brain disorder that actually creates issues with recognizing faces. It just affects around 2% of the total population but those who have this disease usually have it from the childhood. Let us know about this disease in detail.  

What is Face Blindness? 

The actual term used for face blindness is prosopagnosia. It is a brain disorder that makes a person lose his ability to recognize and differentiate between faces. We spoke to Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow to help us to know about face blindness. Face blind person can have lifestyle issues and living with problems associated with it. Members of the family living with a face blind person need to tell them their names so that a person can recognize them properly. It may even cause social anxiety and depression


Symptoms of Face Blindness 

Most evident symptom of face blindness is difficulty in recognizing faces. Other type of face blindness can be as follows- 

  • Forming relationships become difficult 
  • Personal and profession communication is hard to establish 
  • It becomes extremely difficult for people to know who they are speaking with 
  • People having minor prosopagnosia may have struggle to identify unfamiliar faces 
  • Having social anxiety  
  • Symptoms of depression 
  • Loss of confidence in decision making 

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What Children with Prosopagnosia can do? 

As we understand that it might be challenging for children with face blindness to recognize people around them, here are some things that children with this disease can do- 

  1. They may wait for you and wave at you when they come to pick you up from school or any event. 
  2. Children can be vulnerable at this time, especially they may approach strangers thinking they are known people. Therefore, it is better for them to stay put until someone approaches them. 
  3. They may not recognize familiar people especially when they are speaking about something which is new for them or out of general context.  
  4. Become clingy or withdraw public places 
  5. Have difficulty in following plots and characteristics in movies or TV shows 
  6. Difficulty in making friends 
  7. Seem to withdrawal at school but confident at homes 

Many of these symptoms can even cause other things to happen. They may be shy and vulnerable to types of social aspects of life. 


What causes face blindness? 

1. Prosopagnosia can be caused because of more than one cause or factors. In majority of cases it is because of the brain damage, abnormalities, impairments and such dysfunctions. Face blindness can be particularly problematic when they are caused because of damage in the fold of right fusiform gyrus. This particular area of the brain is responsible to play an important role in the neural system that follow facial memory and perception.  

2. Face blindness can be caused because of getting stroke. Any kind of injury to the brain increases the risk of prosopagnosia and therefore cause neurodegenerative diseases. In some cases, with people having this brain disorder, it is due a genetic link that runs in the family, some family members have it in minor form whereas others can develop it at major form.  

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3. One of the problems that are often associated with face blindness is autism. It seems to be more common as a symptom of autism than in other people. Face blindness may even become a part of impairment that is accompanied with autism. 

4. Face blindness has nothing to do with impaired vision, you may have perfect eyesight and can still have this abnormality as an effect. Not able to recognize faces is actually a memory issue and not a vision impairment. Therefore, it is important that you do not mix both of them. 

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