Here’s What It Means to be Legally Blind

May 30, 2022

You may be surprised to learn that one million Americans are legally blind. People with macular degeneration, diabetes, cataracts and glaucoma can have enough vision issues that they are diagnosed with this condition. Our federal government uses the classification “legally blind” to determine who is available for particular types of assistance, such as job training and disability benefits. 

The office of Brook Plaza Ophthalmology takes pride in its outstanding ophthalmology care, attention to detail and friendly professionalism. You will receive excellent treatment and explanations of the best options available to you. 

Being totally blind is not the same as being legally blind. People who are completely blind can’t see light or distinguish forms. Those who are legally blind, however, have eyesight that’s severely compromised without assistance from eyeglasses or contact lenses.  

Optimal vision is measured as 20/20, which means you can see something clearly that’s 20 feet away from you. But if you’re legally blind, your measurement is 20/200 in your stronger eye or your vision field is less than 20 degrees; if an object is 200 feet away, you have to stand 20 feet from it to see it clearly. 

The sight ability of people who are legally blind varies from person to person. Someone may be able to see things that are at a distance, but his peripheral vision is poor or nonexistent. The sight capabilities of another legally blind person may be the exact opposite. 

Only an ophthalmologist can diagnose some as being legally blind. She or he will evaluate your visual capabilities by giving you a standard eye exam. Your eyesight will be measured twice: when you’re not wearing glasses or contacts and when you are wearing glasses or contacts. As mentioned, if your sight is vastly improved while wearing glasses or contacts, you’re not considered legally blind. 

The office of Brook Plaza Ophthalmology is at the forefront of new technologies to make the treatment of your eyes efficient and effective. We pride ourselves on our never-ending ability to fulfill our mission to provide superior patient experiences. We look forward to exceeding your high expectations. Please call us today for an appointment.