A new study from the University of Washington seeks to answer that question and offers visual simulations of what someone with restored vision might see.
Researchers used simulations to create short videos that mimic what vision would be like after two different types of sight recovery therapies.
Lead author Ione Fine, associate professor at the University, said that the simulations are unprecedented.
"This is the first visual simulation of restored sight in any realistic form. Now we can actually say, This is what the world might look like if you had a retinal implant," Fine said.
Fine noted that the paper aims to provide information about the quality of vision people can expect if they undergo sight restoration surgery, an invasive and costly procedure.
"This is a really difficult decision to make. These devices involve long surgeries, and they don't restore anything close to normal vision. The more information patients have, the better," Fine added.
The study was published in the journal Philosophical Transactions B.