Other conditions that can cause legal blindness include optic neuritis and neuropathy, or inflammation of the optic nerve, which is common in people with multiple sclerosis, or congenital conditions such as retinopathy of prematurity, congenital cataracts, and childhood glaucoma. Keratoconus, a progressive thinning of the cornea, can also lead to severe vision loss up to legal blindness. The Social Security Administration provides benefits to persons who are legally blind through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance Program and the Supplementary Security Income Program. The medical criteria for blindness are the same for each program; Other rules are different. An ophthalmologist will measure visual acuity and visual field to determine if a person is legally blind. Note that the blind person within the meaning of the law is not completely blind. While legally blind people can still technically see, completely blind people will not be able to perceive light or see anything. In the early stages, damaged blood vessels can leak fluid or bleed into the retina, forming deposits and causing swelling. In the most extreme stages, symptoms may include the formation of abnormal blood vessels in the optic nerve, bleeding in the vitreous or in front of the retina, and blockages in the blood flow that cut off oxygen. Each of these symptoms can cause serious vision problems and eventually lead to blindness. If you are completely blind, you cannot see any light or shape. Among people with eye diseases, only about 15% can see nothing at all.
If you are legally blind, you can still see, but not so clearly. While low vision or legal blindness can be limiting, there are many resources and tools to help you live your life with the utmost independence. Depending on the cause of your vision loss, you may be able to benefit from eye exercises and strategies to participate in daily activities. You may also find it helpful to use a stick, talking calculator, special computer software, and other products to help people who are legally blind. If you learn that you are legally blind, organizations like the American Foundation for the Blind can help. They have programs to help you cope with the physical and emotional effects of vision loss. If you lost your sight, communication probably seemed much easier. Even if you were born blind, you still know the barriers that communication can pose. The good news is that there are many practices and new technologies that can make communication faster and easier. The macula of the eye is the central area of the retina that allows us to read, drive, recognize faces, use a computer and see things in great detail.
In age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, the macula worsens and « blind spots » appear that obscure objects in a person`s central vision. 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. This is good news, as computers are now regularly equipped with assistive technologies that provide built-in functionality and the Internet to visually impaired users. Technical basics such as screen magnifiers, screen readers or large print keyboards make data processing navigable and functional for blind or visually impaired users. 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. 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. Glaucoma is associated with ocular hypertension, in which the pressure in the eye is higher than normal. Untreated glaucoma can damage the optic nerve, lead to loss of peripheral vision, and eventually lead to blindness. Many cases have no early symptoms, so about half of Americans with glaucoma don`t know they have it. Regular testing is important to detect and monitor glaucoma.
At the state level, assistance programs designed to benefit legally blind and other visually impaired persons often tend to address basic needs such as rehabilitation, vocational training, schooling, support for independent living, assistive technologies, etc. Some state governments offer monthly pensions or allowances to eligible blind residents. 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). If the results of these tests result in a positive result of legal blindness, you are eligible for vision-related disability benefits, tax exemptions, and other social services offered by the U.S. government. The exact parameters of the SSA criteria for right blindness are discussed in detail below. 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. Being legally blind affects your eyesight, but that doesn`t have to stop you from living a fulfilling life. 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 ». For adults, rehabilitation, life skills, employment and support services are usually available through the State Commission or Agency for the Blind. The National Council for the Blind maintains lists for the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, which has members in 28 states and territories in the United States. The National Federation of the Blind also provides a database of affiliated organizations that can be searched by state. Or your local health department can help you find the Commission for the Blind in your state. Specific safe cooking techniques can be found at VisionAware, from chopping and peeling fruits and vegetables, to measuring and pouring liquids, cooking and analyzing food for their skill.
And once the food is cooked and on the table, various feeding techniques such as navigating a place and locating the food on a plate can make a meal more enjoyable for people who are legally blind. The U.S. Social Security Administration is responsible for developing the concept of legal blindness, as well as the criteria and test methods for determining who is legally blind. Many state governments accept the SSA base for their own programs, but some use different criteria. You may be surprised to learn that it is Uncle Sam, not the doctor, who determines whether you are legally blind. If a person is officially classified as unfit for work because they are legally blind, they are entitled to special services and support. The Social Security Administration provides disability benefits and there are federal and state tax deductions. A variety of private, non-profit, foundation, and other non-governmental organizations and programs also make it easier for people with visual impairments to live a good life.
If your visual acuity is measured with one of these graphs and you cannot read any of the letters on the 20/100 line, the SSA determines that you are legally blind due to a visual acuity of 20/200 or less. For example, if your best central visual acuity corrected for ablation on the best eye is 20/160 using an ETDRS chart, we will determine that you have legal blindness. The reason some people use this term is because there are many different types of « blindness. » People mistakenly believe that all blind people see only darkness or literally nothing at all. In fact, blindness may involve seeing colors or light, or having greater visual acuity in some parts of their field of vision, while others are blurred or absent. If a Snellen eyeboard measured your central visual acuity at 20/20, it means that the smallest letters you can see at a distance of 20 feet (the first digit of the fraction) are the same size as the smallest letters that a person with historically defined « normal vision » can see at a distance of 20 feet (the second number in the fraction). But if you have a central visual acuity of 20/200, the smallest letters you can identify at a distance of 20 feet are the size of the smallest letters that a person with historically defined « normal vision » can see at a much greater distance — 200 feet, in this case.