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? About 80% of blind people have residual vision. It can be difficult to understand how a person with a particular eye condition can see some things while not seeing others. While some people lose a lot of vision in a short time, others slowly lose vision. Many diseases that cause blindness begin to affect a certain part of vision and then progress to remove more vision. For example, macular degeneration initially affects a person`s central vision (the vision that makes us see straight ahead). Visual examples of what individuals might see if they have diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa can be found on the National Eye Institute`s website at www.nei.nih.gov. Striem-Amit E, Guendelman M, Amedi A. “Visual acuity” of congenital blind people by visual sensory substitution for auditory. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33136.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033136 “Legal blindness” is a definition used by the U.S. government to determine eligibility for job training, rehabilitation, education, disability benefits, devices for the visually impaired, and tax exemption programs. It`s not a functional definition of low vision and doesn`t tell us much about what a person can and can`t see. 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. Most of our funding comes from people like you. During 2020, we studied the impact of COVID-19 on people who are blind or partially sighted and advocated for meaningful responses to the pandemic. This work is only possible thanks to donations from people like you.
If you appreciate the information you found on our website, make a gift today! Total blindness is the complete absence of light perception and shape perception and is recorded as “NLP”, an abbreviation for “no light perception”. Visual field tests often begin with a conflicting visual field test, in which you, an ophthalmologist, must cover one eye at a time and then hold one or more fingers in different quadrants of the visual field to see if you can see them while pointing your eyes to a central point in front of you. There are also more comprehensive computer-based tests that use flashing, flickering or moving lights or images to measure your field of vision. This involves pressing a button when you see the light or images. What are the main causes of blindness? According to the National Eye Institute, there are four main causes of blindness in the United States. Being considered legally blind means you can`t drive in any state. Talk to your doctor about your concerns. According to the American Foundation for the Blind, legally blind is not the same as completely blind, which is used to describe the inability to see anything with both eyes.
Most people who are legally blind have some eyesight. If you learn that you are legally blind, organizations like the American Foundation for the Blind can help. They have programs to help you cope with the physical and emotional effects of vision loss. Most surveys and studies show that the majority of people living in the United States with vision loss are adults who are not completely blind; Instead, they have what`s called poor eyesight. You may have heard the terms “partial vision” or “partial blindness” or even “poor eyesight,” which are also used to describe low vision. However, these descriptions are no longer commonly used. There are many conditions that can cause legal blindness, but the most common are age-related eye diseases. Age-related eye diseases that are the leading causes of low vision and blindness include: 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. For more information on definitions of statutory blindness, see Assessment of Disability in Social Security, a publication of the Social Security Administration.
If you`re not completely blind yet, but your vision isn`t what it used to be, you probably fall into the category of visually impaired adults. Visual impairment is sometimes referred to as “partial blindness”, but because the term is not necessarily accurate, “visual impairment” is preferred. 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. If you have a Snellen rating above 20/70, with and without contact lenses or glasses, you have relatively good vision and are not legally blind or even legally visually impaired. 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. The terms may also be used by health insurers to determine benefits and as part of the vision screening tests required by state departments of motor vehicles (DMV) when determining driver`s license eligibility. For safety reasons, people who are legally blind or visually impaired are generally not entitled to a driver`s licence. Legal blindness occurs when a person has a central visual acuity (vision that allows a person to see right in front of them) of 20/200 or less in their best eye with correction.
With a visual acuity of 20/200, a person can see at 20 feet what a person with a vision of 20/20 sees at 200 feet. American printing house for the blind. What is legal blindness? You may be surprised to learn that it is Uncle Sam, not the doctor, who determines whether you are legally blind. Part 1 of the American definition of right blindness says this about visual acuity: Being legally blind affects your eyesight, but that doesn`t have to stop you from living a fulfilling life. An estimated 1.1 million Americans are legally blind. Certain conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes, and macular degeneration, can affect your vision to the point where you can be diagnosed with the disease. The government uses the term “statutory blindness” to decide who can receive certain benefits, such as disability or vocational training. This is not the same as being completely blind. 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. A common test for visual acuity is Snellen`s eye chart.
Someone who is legally blind could simply read the top row of the chart, a capital E, while wearing corrective lenses. The line under the capital E is the line for 20/100. There are also tests that can measure between 20/200 and 20/100. Someone who can`t see the line for 20/100 but sees somewhere between 20/100 and 20/200 would still meet the government`s standard of legal blindness, which is why they are listed as “20/200 or less.” 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). 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.