First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Legal Blindness
In the United States, a person is legally blind if his or her best eye has less than 20/200 vision or less 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.
The United States also considers a person legally blind if his or her visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with the help of glasses or contact lenses. Having a visual field of 20 degrees means that a person has trouble seeing to his or her side when looking straight (peripheral vision). A vision test is used to measure a person's visual field.
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:
July 17, 2018
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher Joseph Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
1430 N Salem Street
Apex, NC 27502
2615 Lake Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607
901 Ridgefield Drive
Raleigh, NC 27609
4420 Lake Boone Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607
357 Carolina Arbors Drive
Durham, NC 27703
UNC REX Healthcare4420 Lake Boone TrailRaleigh, NC 27607, USA919-784-3100
Chosen for Excellence
Co-Worker & Physician Login
UNC Health Talk
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.