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. 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. SSA does not use the results of visual field screening tests such as confrontation tests, tangent screening tests, or automated static screening tests to determine legal blindness. 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. As in the past, legal blindness continues to be defined as the best corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the best eye; or a limitation of the field of vision so that the widest diameter of the field of view on the best eye tends to be an angle not exceeding 20 degrees, measured with a Goldmann III4e stimulus or equivalent size.
American printing house for the blind. What is legal blindness? 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. 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. 1) Expert Group on Vision Loss of the Global Burden of Disease Study. Causes of blindness and visual impairment in 2020 and trends over 30 years: assessing the prevalence of avoidable blindness in relation to “VISION 2020: the right to vision”. Lancet Global Health 2020. doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30489-7 To determine right blindness, the visual field (the part of a person`s vision that allows them to see what is happening on their end) is also considered. A field of vision of 20 degrees or less is considered blind under the law.
Ophthalmologists can help diagnose right blindness. An ophthalmologist will measure visual acuity and visual field to determine if a person is legally blind. What are the main causes of blindness? According to the National Eye Institute, there are four main causes of blindness in the United States. Part 1 of the U.S. definition of legal blindness says this about visual acuity: you measure your vision by wearing glasses or contact lenses. Their vision could fall below 20/200 without them. If it improves when you put on your glasses or contact lenses, you are not considered blind under the law. Being considered legally blind means you can`t drive in any state. Talk to your doctor about your concerns.
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). People often ask about the difference between being blind and being “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. WHO`s work is guided by the recommendations of the WHO Global Vision Report (2019) and the resolution on “integrated and human-centred eye care, including avoidable blindness and visual impairment” adopted at the 73rd World Health Assembly in 2020. The main proposal of the report and resolution is to make integrated human-centred ophthalmology (IPEC) the model of care of choice and to ensure its widespread implementation. By shaping the World Vision agenda, the report and resolution are expected to support Member States and their partners in their efforts to reduce the burden of eye diseases and visual impairment and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG target 3.8 on universal health coverage. Key areas of WHO`s work and activities to prevent blindness include: 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. Total blindness is the complete absence of light perception and shape perception and is recorded as “NLP”, an abbreviation for “no light perception”. Under the new criteria, if visual acuity is measured using one of the new tables and cannot read any of the letters in line 20/100, a person is considered legally blind, based on a visual acuity of 20/200 or less. For example, if the person`s best corrected visual acuity for better eye removal was set at 20/160 using an ETDRS chart, they would now be classified as legally blind.
Regardless of the type of test table used, the person will not be considered blind within the meaning of the law if he or she can read at least one letter on the 20/100 line. For example, if a person`s best corrected visual acuity for distance in the better eye were determined using an ETDRS table of 20/125+1, they would not be considered legally blind because they could read a letter on the 20/100 line. 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. 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. 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. 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. “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.