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! 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. For more information on definitions of statutory blindness, see Assessment of Disability in Social Security, a publication of the Social Security Administration.
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 main causes of visual impairment and blindness include: Total blindness is the complete absence of light perception and shape perception and is recorded as “NLP”, an abbreviation for “no light perception”. 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. 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. Being legally blind affects your eyesight, but that doesn`t have to stop you from living a fulfilling life. Visual acuity of 20/20 is considered “perfect vision” because no help is needed to see better, and the average person with good vision can clearly see what doctors have determined to be 20/20 vision. Some people (especially young people with good eyes) may see letters smaller than the overall size “20/20”.
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? “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 ophthalmologist will measure visual acuity and visual field to determine if a person is legally blind. 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. What are the main causes of blindness? According to the National Eye Institute, there are four main causes of blindness in the United States. 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.” American printing house for the blind. What is legal blindness? What does it mean to be legally blind? The definition of legal blindness was developed as a guideline to help people receive government support, such as Social Security disability benefits. The Department of Motor Vehicles also uses the definition to measure visibility and protect our roads from drivers who have difficulty seeing. 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.
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. 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. 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.