August 10, 2022

What is prosopagnosia or face blindness?

Sometimes people claim that they easily forget names, but they would remember a face. But what if you can’t recognize someone’s face, even if you know them well? Recently, attention has focused on a neurological disorder called prosopagnosia or “face blindness”. The disorder makes it difficult to recognize faces. According to National Health Sservice, prosopagnosia affects approximately one in 50 people.

People with prosopagnosia may have trouble not only recognizing people’s faces, but also recognizing their own face in the mirror. They may have trouble following the plot of movies because they have trouble distinguishing characters and may not recognize their own family or friends. Some even have difficulty distinguishing objects like cars.

Failure to recognize people or places has led some people with the disorder to experience feelings of anxiety and depression. They often worry that people will see them as rude, aloof, or cold.

Prosopagnosia is usually developed in two ways. The first—developmental prosopagnosia—according to the Prosopagnosia Research Centeris the result of neurodevelopmental disabilities that prevent the brain from developing the ability to recognize faces. Developmental prosopagnosia can be inherited and can sometimes go undetected in those who have it because they were born with the disease.

The second type is acquired prosopagnosia, which is caused by head trauma, degenerative disease, or stroke. This shape is usually noticeable because the patient who once had the ability to recognize faces now realizes that they no longer have that ability.

Currently, there is no known treatment for prosopagnosia, but research is ongoing. There are ways people with prosopagnosia can recognize someone. They can memorize their hair color, their voice, and even the way they walk or stand.