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  • Writer's pictureJantz Chappel

What is legally blind

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Whenever you hear I'm legally blind without my glasses. It is technically not true legally blind means with correction (glasses or contact lenses) you can't see greater than 20/200 in either eye. That being said that is just semantics. Even with a disease like keratoconus where they may be 20/200 or worse in the best pair of glasses, they can still be corrected with specialty contact to hopefully 20/20 and they are still not legally blind. Very rarely does blindness mean total blackness, it may mean a black spot in vision. Certain diseases can actually have you see 20/20 but be legally blind because you have a small amount of peripheral vision. A great example of that is Glaucoma and Retinitis Pigmentosa. Losing peripheral vision or central vision which is worst? Losing some peripheral vision normally isn't noticeable to most due to the brain covering up the area loss but once it gets bad in both eyes you will lose mobility. I have heard stories of people walking with a cane but they can see 20/20 they need the cane because they are looking out of the pinhole. With the loss of central vision, you lose stereopsis (depth perception) and central vision so tv is blurry but they can walk around in new areas just fine. It comes down to personal preferences but I will say early central vision loss is worst than early peripheral loss due to what was discussed above but once both a severe they both stink for different reasons.

example of how macular degeneration affects vision

Example of vision with Retinitis pigmentosa or glaucoma

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