In the United States, a person is legally blind if his or her best eye has less than 20/200 vision with the help of glasses or contact lenses. Having 20/200 vision means that a person cannot be more than 20 ft (6.1 m) away to see what a person with normal vision can see from 200 ft (60.96 m) away.
Legal blindness does not mean that a person cannot see at all. People who are legally blind often have some vision, but their field of vision may be very narrow or blurry. Or they may have blind spots that glasses cannot correct.
Being diagnosed as legally blind restricts a person's ability to obtain a driver's license. But a legally blind person is usually eligible for low visibility aids and other benefits to help improve daily functioning.
Current as of: May 23, 2016
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.