Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Presidents and Vision

Eye health and vision care are important elements of overall well being for everyone and eye problems can impact people from all backgrounds, including those serving in the nation’s highest elected office. As we celebrate President’s Day 2023, we remember a few of those individuals who experienced challenges. The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the 25th president, experienced partial vision loss in his right eye, resulting from an injury. Woodrow Wilson suffered a hemorrhage in his retina, that caused severe vision loss in his right eye, seven years before he became 27th president. The nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln “couldn’t look a person straight in the eye” due to strabismus (crossed eyes). Reports of his campaign debates in 1860 reported his eye as “’rolling wildly’ as he spoke.” He also experienced double vision at times. And numerous presidents have had problems like eye “’twitches,’” “’spasms,’” or “’rapid blinking,’” conditions that can occur in conjunction with stress or insufficient sleep. Read more from the AAO website on The History of Presidential Eye Problems and from Ophthalmology Times on Presidential eyes eyed at Museum of Vision.