What it means to be legally blind. Some would use the term legally blind to describe their vision without eyeglasses or contact lenses if their uncorrected refractive problem makes them feel visually disabled in some way – such as limitations on driving a car. Some would believe it’s the same as being totally blind.
The truth is the term “legally blind” doesn’t mean either of the above.
To be legally blind means to be at a level of visual impairment that limits one to perform activities for safety reasons. If you are legally blind you are also eligible for disability fund.
Legally blind is defined as follows:
1. Reduced central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in your stronger eye with eyeglasses to correct eyesight.
2. Limitation of your range of view such as diameter with your better eye subtends angle no more than 20 degrees.
According to a report, there are around 1.3 million legally blind people in the US.
What it means to be legally blind due to visual acuity of 20/200 or less:
Using a measurement system, you must identify letters that minimise on an eye chart – the results are expressed as a fraction standardised at viewing distance of 20 feet.
If you have 20/20 visual acuity, this shows that the smaller letters you see from 20 feet are the same size as the smallest letters a person with normal vision can see at 20 feet.
If you have 20/200 visual acuity, the smallest letters can be seen from 20 feet – they are the size of the smallest letters a person with normal vision can see from a greater distance of 200 feet.
Your central vision is part of your eyesight you use to view and identify objects directly in front of you – is worse than a normally sighted person if you are legally blind.
For you to be diagnosed as legally blind, your visual acuity must be 20/200 or worse in your better eye while you are wearing contact lense. So how poorly you see without eyeglasses or contact lenses has nothing to do with being legally blind.