“Legal blindness” is a definition used by the U.S. government to determine eligibility for job training, rehabilitation, education, disability benefits, equipment 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. 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. What are the main causes of blindness? According to the National Eye Institute, there are four main causes of blindness in the United States. The Iowa Department for the Blind also serves people who are functionally blind. A person is functionally blind when they have to use so many alternative techniques to perform tasks that are normally performed with vision that their daily lifestyle is significantly altered. These alternative techniques could include reading a newspaper while listening to the phone or using Braille to read a book. 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.
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. Another way of looking at it: if someone with 20/20 vision is standing next to a legally blind person, the legally blind person should approach up to 20 feet to see an object from 200 feet away, as well as the person with normal vision. For more information on definitions of statutory blindness, see Assessment of Disability in Social Security, a publication of the Social Security Administration. 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. 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. First, what does it mean to be “legally blind”? In most states, if you have less than 20/200 visual acuity that cannot be corrected with glasses/contact lenses, you are legally considered “severely visually impaired” (which was called “legally blind”). But the trick here is not what you see “naturally” (with the naked eye), but how well you see with your glasses or contact lenses. Despite such a high correction of myopic lens, if one or both of your eyes can see 20/40 or better, you are not “legally blind”.
However, it`s easy to see how someone might feel this way when you`ve lost glasses somewhere! Normal visibility is 20/20. This means that you can clearly see an object from 20 feet away. If you are legally blind, your vision is 20/200 or less in your best eye or your field of vision is less than 20 degrees. That is, if an object is 200 feet away, you must stand 20 feet away from it to see it clearly. But a person with normal vision can stand at 200 feet and see this object perfectly. There are many conditions that can cause legal blindness, but the most common are age-related eye diseases. Age-related eye diseases, which are the main causes of visual impairment and blindness, are: Few people today are completely devoid of vision. In fact, 85% of all people with eye diseases have some kind of vision; About 15% are completely blind. 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. Being considered legally blind means you can`t drive in any state.
Talk to your doctor about your concerns. Striem-Amit E, Gen 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 People often ask about the difference between being blind and “legally blind.” Because “blindness” can mean many different things, blindness under the law is the threshold at which a person is considered visually impaired for legal purposes, such as insurance purposes, to receive certain benefits, or to be accepted into various programs. When determining right blindness, the field of vision (the part of a person`s vision that allows them to see what is happening on their end) is also taken into account. A field of vision of 20 degrees or less is considered blind under the law. Ophthalmologists can help diagnose right blindness. Most government agencies and health care institutions agree that legal blindness is defined as visual acuity (central vision) of 20/200 or worse in the best sighted eye or a field of vision (peripheral vision) limited to only 20 degrees. Visual acuity of 20/200 means that what the legally blind person can see at 20 feet, the average person can see clearly at 200 feet.
When it comes to the field of vision, the average person can see 140 degrees without turning their head. 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. Part 1 of the United States The definition of legal blindness says this about visual acuity: If you have a Snellen score greater than 20/70, with and without contact lenses or glasses, you have relatively good eyesight and are not legally blind or even legally visually impaired. Like visual impairment, there are many different definitions of visual impairment. “Visual impairment” is a broad term that describes a wide range of visual functions, from visual impairment to complete blindness. American printing house for the blind. What is legal blindness? “Legally blind” is the definition of blindness used by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine whether a person is eligible for disability benefits, tax exemptions, and training for the visually impaired.
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. 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. 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. 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). 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.