While low vision or legal blindness can be limiting, there are many resources and tools to help you live your life with the utmost independence. Depending on the cause of your vision loss, you may be able to benefit from eye exercises and strategies to participate in daily activities. You may also find it helpful to use a stick, talking calculator, special computer software, and other products to help people who are legally blind. A legally blind person with 20/200 vision (with the best corrective lenses) would have to be 20 feet away from an object to see it, and someone with 20/20 vision could see it from 200 feet away. Like the term “legal blindness,” “visual impairment” is not a functional definition that tells us a lot about what a person can and cannot see. It is more of a classification system than a definition. If you are completely blind, you cannot see any light or shape. Among people with eye diseases, only about 15% can see nothing at all. If you are legally blind, you can still see, but not so clearly. The reason some people use this term is because there are many different types of “blindness.” People mistakenly believe that all blind people see only darkness or literally nothing at all. In fact, blindness may involve seeing colors or light, or having greater visual acuity in some parts of their field of vision, while others are blurred or absent. What are the main causes of blindness? According to the National Eye Institute, there are four main causes of blindness in the United States.
Total blindness is the complete absence of light perception and shape perception and is recorded as “NLP”, an abbreviation for “no light perception”. Blind people are “legally blind,” but some people who can see with strong eyeglasses say they are legally blind without their glasses. This means that without glasses, they might not see well enough to see certain things, drive, etc. Visual acuity below 20/200 is considered blind under the law, but to truly fit the definition, the person must not be able to achieve 20/200 vision, even with prescription glasses. Many people who would be legally blind without glasses can function well in everyday life with proper glasses or contact lenses. Note that the blind person within the meaning of the law is not completely blind. While legally blind people can still technically see, completely blind people will not be able to perceive light or see anything. To be legally blind, you must meet one of two criteria: visual acuity (visual acuity) and field of vision (the full range of what you can see without moving your eyes). To be legally blind, you must have a visual acuity of 20/200. This means that even with glasses or contact lenses, you can only read the first letter at the top of the Snellen diagram, if at all.
You can also be legally blind if you can see, but only in a very small window in your eye. Essentially, even if you can see, if you can`t see enough to function regularly, you can probably be considered legally blind. We have all heard the term “legally blind,” but what does that really mean? How is it different from complete blindness and who is considered legally blind? You may be surprised to learn that it is Uncle Sam, not the doctor, who determines whether you are legally blind. Treatments for legal blindness vary depending on the cause and stage of the disease. Age-related eye conditions are usually prescription medications or eye procedures aimed at delaying or preventing vision from getting worse. Basically, if it`s at least 20/70, can`t be corrected — even with touches, glasses, or surgery — and interferes with your daily activities, it can legally be considered a “visual impairment.” Striem-Amit E, Gendelman M, Amedi A. “Visual acuity of congenital blind persons by visual sensory substitution for auditory. PLoS One.
2012;7(3):e33136. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033136 Legal blindness occurs when a person has a central visual acuity (vision that allows a person to see straight ahead) of 20/200 or less in their best eye with correction.