It makes sense for people to assume that those who are blind cannot see in their dreams, or dream at all. This thought is commonly formed for multiple reasons. One common explanation behind this theory is that the blind individual cannot physically see, therefore, the blind individual’s brain is not used to the sense of sight as a whole and only recognizes the other senses that the body uses on a daily basis. Yes, the blind can dream. However, only some can see in their dreams.
According to an article in Sleep Medicine, a group of Danish researchers recruited 50 adults. Out of these 50, 11 of the participants were blind from birth, 14 went blind sometime after infancy, and there were 25 controls who were not blind.
Virginia Hughes from National Geographic reported that every individual in the control group has had a visual dream, as expected. However, none of the participants who were blind since birth have had a visual dream. The 14 participants who went blind after infancy stated that they do see, but the longer the length of time has been since they went blind decreases the strength of sight in their dreams.
The same study also reported by Melissa Pandika showed that approximately 18% of the blind individuals, from birth and later on in life, claimed they have tasted in at least one dream. Only 7% of the non-blind controls have reported to taste in their dreams. 30% of the blind claimed that they smell in at least one dream, in comparison to only half of those results. 70% of blind folks have reported a touch sensation, and 86% claim a hearing sensation.
Some refer to the blind in a collective manner, not realizing that every dream is dependent on the severity of the blindness. That being said, some that are blind are able to see. And those who cannot see depend on their other senses that have been strengthened over time to have vivid, lively dreams.