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what eye prescription is considered blind?

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What eye prescription would be classified as "legally blind"?
I don't understand what 20/70 or 20/200 even means. All I know is that my prescription for my left eye is 6.50 and my right eye is 7.00 and someone told me that means that I'm legally blind. Is that true? And what is the prescription number to be classified as legally blind?
Update: I know all of that, I've read wikipedia and I've searched the internet. I just want to know if my prescription means that I'm legally blind.

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asked Feb 12 in Health by smyadmin

10 Answers

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No--6.50 and 7.00 are rather high numbers, but if your glasses/contacts can correct you so that you can see 20/100 or better, you are not legally blind. Therefore, there isn't a dividing mark in terms of what makes you legally blind or not.

Granted, if glasses didn't exist, you certainly would be legally blind--estimated 2.00-2.50 diopters of nearsightedness (and farsightedness as well, although sometimes they can compensate at distances, so they might have to have a higher prescription than that) is enough to make you see only 20/200. I cannot see 20/200 without my glasses with my -3.25 prescription, and that's still a lot smaller in magnitude than your 6.50 or 7.00.
answered Feb 12 by Hufflepuff
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20/70 means that what "normal" eyes can see at 70 feet, you have to be 20 feet away to see it the way they do. I believe it's around 20/150 that you are considered legally blind. Of course that's without corrective lenses. I'm pretty sure by now I'm legally blind without my contacts or glasses.

Your prescription is different. It has a lot more information in it so you can ask your optometrist sometime to explain to you what each number stands for.
answered Feb 12 by ixi26c
0 votes
Legal blindness is related to two possible vision problems. 1) Visual acuity (clarity of vision) and 2) visual field (how well you can see to the side). BUT, legal blindness is based upon how well your vision is WITH GLASSES OR CONTACTS BEING WORN. So the prescription strength of your eyeglasses or contact lenses is not relevant to whether you are legally blind or not. You could have a prescription of 25.00 or even more and as long as you can see clearly and have good visual field while wearing your glasses or contacts then you would not be classified as legally blind. So to answer your last question, there is NO prescription number that classifies one as being legally blind.
Source(s):
Me. I am an optometric physician.
answered Feb 12 by yagman
0 votes
Heartzablaze is pretty much right.

And, depending on pupil size, 20/200, "one tenth of normal vision", would only need an Rx of about -3.50.

You (and I, at over -10.00 ) would be legally blind IF and only if our vision could not be improved by spectacles, contacts...
The strength of glasses doesnt count at all.

So you are not legally blind unless 6/60 (20/200) is the best you can get. Fumbling around on waking wondering where you put your glasses doesn't count.

As an aside someone can be legally blind with very good vision, even 20/20, if they have extremely restricted visual fields. For example as may be caused with retinitis pigmentosa.
answered Feb 12 by Pedestal 42
0 votes
In North America and most of Europe, legal blindness is defined as visual acuity (vision) of 20/200 (6/60) or less in the better eye with best correction possible. This means that a legally blind individual would have to stand 20 feet (6 m) from an object to see it with the same degree of clarity as a normally sighted person could from 200 feet (60 m).
Source(s):
wikipedia
answered Feb 12 by heartzablaze215
0 votes
In order to be considered legally blind, a person must have a score of no better than 20/200 on a vision test while wearing corrective lenses, according to WebMD. The test may also be administered with a restricted field of vision, but the results must be the same.
Those with test results ranging from 20/70 to 20/200 while wearing corrective lenses are considered partially sighted, says WebMD. If a person scores 20/200 without lenses but gets a better score while wearing corrective lenses, he is considered partially sighted as well and not legally blind. Partially-sighted people are able to improve their vision through corrective measures, according to Wikipedia.
answered Feb 12 by Jynxie
0 votes
Legal blindness has fairly strict guideline that if qualified entitles you to government assistance.

Best corrected vision has to be 20/200 or worse in both eyes. Peripheral vision or visual field reduction also can qualify you.

If your glasses and/or contact lenses improve your vision better than 20/200 in either eye then you are not legally blind. You can have a massive prescription yet be 20/20 with correction. So if indeed you have a large prescription and you hate it when you can't see much when removing your visual aid, thinking you're legally blind; imagine putting them back on and seeing no improvement, that would probably be legal blindness.

By the way, it's called "legal" blindness because it's defined so by law. Many "legally blind" folk don't consider themselves blind or even impaired or handicapped and can function just fine with proper practice. But in the end they can do more with proper assistance.
answered Feb 12 by Gabriel Taub
0 votes
The concept of "legal blindness" is always the best vision even with glasses. Therefore, a patient can have a low prescription and have some disease that prevents seeing 20/200 (Snellen minimum vision for most definitions of "legal blindness". Therefore, you can be 20/400 without glasses, but that is not called "legal blindness" because it has to be tested with the best pair of glasses available.

In addition, poor vision caused by disease is far different than just removing glasses. Thus someone who has normal vision and doesn't wear their glasses would actually perform tasks better than someone who has poor vision even with their best glasses.
answered Feb 12 by Richard Hom
0 votes
None.  As long as you are corrected to better than 20/200 with glasses or contact lenses you are not considered legally blind.   Only if you cannot see 20/200 with any prescription are you considered legally blind.
answered Feb 12 by David Malitz
0 votes
I have cerebral palsy on my right side and over my early years, it made my left eye strained. So I was 30/400 by the time I was a teenager. I don’t really focus out of my right eye. I can sense more than see movement, and I would have to really strain to see, say, how many fingers someone was holding up. I can’t drive. If I put my hand over my left eye, I see my left palm. If I close my left eye, I can sort of fixate on whatever is in front of me.

I gave Lasik a shot in 2000, and was told I’d likely have to wear glasses again within the decade. They were right. But my eyesight was corrected to 20/30. The amazing part was that my right eye did not float as it did before. I would try and makit that happen and it felt as if the muscle was strengthened.

Right now my eyesight is about 20/40. And every time someone questions why the Lasik didn’t work, I let them try on the glasses I had in 1999.
answered Feb 12 by Wayne Allen Sallee

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