The following article discusses the U.S. Government’s definition of legal blindness.
Legal blindness as defined by the U.S. Government does not mean that a person has no vision at all, nor is it synonymous with a medical diagnosis of low vision. That is to say, that while a person with a diagnosis of low vision may in certain circumstances meet the U.S. Government’s standard of legal blindness, the reverse is not necessarily true. Only a low vision optometrist is qualified to make a diagnosis of low vision.
Legal blindness reflects the U.S. Government's definition of the term which may entitle people to government disability benefits, and will likely prevent them from legally driving a motor vehicle in many states. This definition of legal blindness takes into account visual acuity and visual field. Visual acuity refers to the sharpness of vision at a distance of 20 feet. Visual field refers to all that the eye can see when it focuses on a fixed point.
The U.S. government’s definition is as follows:
Causes of blindness include:
Signs of possible visual deficits that meet this standard are not monolithic and they will vary according to individuals. Schedule an appointment right away if you notice any of the following:
Speak with our low vision optometrist to discuss how to proceed following a diagnosis of legal blindness. The emotional impact can be difficult. The good news is that with proper intervention regain their ability to do the things they loved doing before vision loss
You can't diagnose yourself with legal blindness. Contact our low vision optometrist to schedule an examination to assess visual acuity and field of vision, both of which are essential for a thorough evaluation. It is relatively easy to determine if a person meets the legal criteria for blindness. If you have been diagnosed with legal blindness, speak with our optometrist to create a plan for maximizing your vision and living a normal life.