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. „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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Legal blindness is different from total blindness, which describes the complete loss of any visual perception of light. Most legally blind people can still see light, but the objects in their vision are very blurry.
Cases of visual impairment and blindness in the United States are expected to double by 2050. National Institutes of Health. May 2016. The four leading causes of legal blindness in the United States are: About 1 million Americans were legally blind in 2015, according to an estimate by the National Eye Institute. 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. 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.” If you are legally blind or caring for a blind person, visually impaired people are usually more familiar with the latest visual aids to help you get the most out of your eyesight. 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. An ophthalmologist will measure visual acuity and visual field to determine if a person is 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.
People who are legally blind are often entitled to special services and supports. You measure your eyesight 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. 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. 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. 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”. 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). 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. Several NGOs can help people with legal blindness lead a more normal life, even with severe visual impairment. Being considered legally blind means you can`t drive in any state. Talk to your doctor about your concerns. You may be surprised to learn that it is Uncle Sam, not the doctor, who determines whether you are legally blind. 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. 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! Did you know: The largest letter on the diagram (an E on most Snellen diagrams) is a 20/200 vision. If someone cannot distinguish this letter with his prescribed glasses, he is considered blind within the meaning of the law. If a person has a field of view of only 20 degrees, they can see things that are right in front of them without moving their eyes from side to side, but they can`t see anything to one side or the other (peripheral vision). A 180-degree field of view is considered normal.
A severely restricted field of view is sometimes referred to as tunnel vision. It is almost impossible to drive safely. Striem-Amit E, Gendelman 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 The government uses the term „legal blindness” to decide who can receive certain benefits, such as disability or vocational training. This is not the same as being completely blind. 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: If a person is legally blind due to their visual acuity, this means that the sharpness of their vision cannot be improved beyond 20/200, even with the help of their vision glasses or contact lenses. This means that a blind person with 20/200 vision sees objects that are about one-tenth as sharp as a person with 20/20 vision. But what does it mean to have poor eyesight? Is it just that your vision is blurry or unclear? Legally, it must be caused by eye disease and reduce your visual acuity to at least 20/70. This means that to see what most people can see from 70 feet away, you need to be as close as 20 feet. In other words, you can hardly read the 3rd row from the top of Snellen`s eyeboard (or the chart you read at the ophthalmologist with all the letters). 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. 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.