Blindness Overview

For those with sight, it is easy to imagine going blind as being suddenly plunged into darkness. Thinking about it can bring about feelings of panic and helplessness. For some that is the real experience, but more often blindness comes on gradually as a result of disease and it occurs to varying degrees. Even those with total blindness can learn to live independently.

Legally Blind vs. Total Blindness
Total blindness typically involves damage to the optic nerves, disrupting the communication between the brain and the eye. A person is considered legally blind when their vision is 20/200 or worse, even with corrective lenses. While this is very poor vision, it does not mean there is no sight at all.

When legal blindness is the result of refractive error, LASIK surgery can sometimes significantly improve vision. Sometimes people who are legally blind achieve 20/20 vision or better, although in cases this severe most will still need corrective lenses to see clearly after laser vision correction.

Preventing Blindness
There are many diseases that lead to blindness, but with early detection and treatment, blindness may be prevented or delayed.

Some conditions, such as cataracts, can be corrected with simple, routine eye surgery. Others are caused by underlying health problems that must be addressed. Diabetic retinopathy, for instance, is very common in people with diabetes and is caused by uncontrolled blood sugar. In fact, declining vision is sometimes the first symptom of diabetes.

Regular eye exams and prompt attention to any changes in your vision can stop or slow vision loss, and may even prevent blindness.

If you have experienced a change in your vision, please contact a qualified eye doctor in your area today.