Tuesday, April 23, 2024

What Does 20 200 Vision Look Like

Understanding The Differences Between 20/100 20/200 & 20/400 Vision

What is 2020 vision? (It’s not what you think)

Normal visual acuity is considered to be 20/20 vision, which is line 8 on the Snellen Eye Chart. This means that from 20 feet away, you can read that line clearly without correction.

The first line on the Snellen Eye Chart is for 20/200 vision, while line 2 is for 20/100 visual acuity. This means that you will need to be 20 feet away to see something as clearly as someone with normal vision can see with the same clarity at 100 feet away.

If you can read the second line from 20 feet away but not the first, your visual acuity is 20/100. If you cannot read the first line, your visual acuity is at least 20/200 and potentially worse.

It will take a specialized low vision eye chart to determine your exact visual acuity if its worse than 20/200. A specialized eye chart can also give you more precise results between 20/100 and 20/200.

Visual acuity between 20/200 and 20/400 is classified as severe vision loss, and anything below 20/400 is considered profound vision loss. Low vision testing will typically involve finger counting or specialized exams to determine visual acuity below 20/400, as you will be unable to read a standard eye chart.

A visual acuity of 20/400 is very low functional vision. The lower your functional vision, the harder it will be to do daily activities and perform everyday tasks without low vision aids, specialized tools, or services.

What The Sight Simulator Can Do

You can use the Sight Simulator to describe your own vision loss for your friends and family, or use it to experience for yourself what it means to live with low vision. When you input a street address, the Sight Simulator provides a Google Street View image that you can modify to simulate moderate to severe cataracts, glaucoma, or retinopathy.

What Does It Mean To Be Legally Blind

People often ask about the distinction between being blind and being legally blind. Because blindness can mean several different things, legally blind is the threshold at which someone is considered visually impaired for legal purposes such as for insurance purposes, receiving certain benefits, or being accepted into various programs.

Blind people are legally blind, but some people who can see with strong prescription eyewear say that they are legally blind without their eyewear. This means that, without eyewear, they would not be able to see well enough to see certain things, drive, and so on. Visual acuity less than 20/200 is considered legally blind, but to actually fit the definition, the person must not be able to attain 20/200 vision even with prescription eyewear. Many people who would be legally blind without eyewear can function well in everyday life with appropriate glasses or contact lenses.

The reason that some people use this term is because there are so many different kinds of blindness. People wrongly believe that all blind people just see darkness, or literally nothing at all. In fact, blindness can include seeing some colors or light, or having greater visual acuity in some parts of their field of vision while others are blurry or absent.

Did you know: the largest letter on the chart corresponds to 20/200 vision. If someone cannot distinguish that letter with their prescribed eyewear, they are considered legally blind.

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What Is A Bioptic Telescope

A bioptic telescope is a low vision aid that is often used by people with 20/80 vision. It consists of a small telescope mounted in the top of the carrier lens or flipped into place. This gives your central vision the magnification it needs to see better. Some people use a bioptic telescope in combination with a direct view lens. This is a carrier lens that has a spot where the magnification section would be, typically 2.2x to 4x for this type of device. With both these lenses in place, its easier for you to see things at a distance but they dont help your near vision unless a reading cap is placed over the telescope.

If you are experiencing 20/80 vision, it is important to know how this might affect your day-to-day life. Vision changes can be subtle or drastic and often come on gradually so they are easy to ignore until the problem becomes more severe. This blog post discussed some of the common eye diseases that cause low vision as well as ways for people with 20/80 eyesight to stay proactive about their health. The best way to protect your eyesight is by seeing an ophthalmologist or optometrist regularly for a comprehensive exam. We hope this information will help keep you healthy! If you have any questions about our services please dont hesitate to contact us at

If You’re Unable To Read The Top Line On An Eye Chart You’ve Got 20/200 Vision Which Makes You Legally Blind In The Us

amblyopia cling patch available in blurs of 20100 20200 20400 1

Normal vision is 20/20, which means you can read an eye chart at 20 feet. To be considered legally blind, your vision needs to be 20/200 or worse, which means you can read an eye chart at 20 feet about as well as someone with normal vision could read it at 200 feet.

When your vision is 20/200 or worse, this is what the world looks like…

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The Experience Of Blindness

The experience of blindness is as unique as the person losing his or her sight. Various conditions, diseases, and injuries can cause vision loss, which can happen gradually over time. So being considered legally blind is not a one-size-fits all description rather, it represents a wide range of real-life experiences of blindness.

Because light is required to see, total blindness describes the experience of having no light perception . That is, people who are totally blind cant see any light or form.

If you still have some remaining vision, your condition is permanent and cannot be corrected with regular glasses, lenses, medicine or surgery, you have low vision. There are many different degrees of blindness within the overarching category of low vision.

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Prevention Of Vision Loss

The best way to prevent vision loss is to take care of your overall health . Seeing your healthcare provider regularly and getting your eyes examined can help alert you to conditions, like diabetes, that could impact your sight.

Other steps you can take to safeguard your sight include maintaining a healthy weight , wearing eye protection for certain activities , and eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of diabetes-related blindness is preventable. Controlling your blood sugar is an important step in preventing diabetes-related vision loss.

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Devices To Help With Low Vision

If you want to get ahead of the condition, seeing an eye expert for a low vision exam is essential. It will tell you how much of the vision you can utilize. After diagnosis, you may have to choose between optical and nonoptical devices to help with low vision, including:

  • Refracted glasses
  • Hand-held magnifiers

What Does That Mean

Vision of 20/ 200

The first standard for a person to be considered legally blind is a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in their best eye.

Visual acuity is the sharpness or clarity of vision. To qualify as legally blind, your vision is measured after the best possible correction of glasses or contact lenses.

Some people may have a visual acuity of 20/200 or worse, but they are able to correct their vision with glasses or contacts and are not considered legally blind.

Normal vision is considered 20/20. If you are legally blind with a visual acuity of 20/200, you would be able to see details at 20 feet that a person with 20/20 vision could see at 200 feet.

The second standard for a person to be considered legally blind is a visual field of no more than 20 degrees.

Your visual field is everything you can see at the sides of your vision when looking straight ahead. A normal visual field is 180 degrees. A person with a visual field of 20 degrees can see things straight ahead but wouldnt be able to see things to either side without moving their eyes.

No visual field loss. Significant visual field loss.

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What Causes Legal Blindness

Many eye diseases can lead to legal blindness. The most common causes of blindness are:10


Cataracts cause clouding of the eyes lenses. It is the leading cause of blindness worldwide.


Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve. It can cause blindness.

Age-related macular degeneration

AMD is a disease affecting the retina’s macular region. It is a leading cause of blindness in adults over age 65.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that can affect people with diabetes.

Resources For Those Who Are Legally Blind

People who are legally blind are often eligible for special services and assistance.

The U.S. Social Security Administration provides benefits to those who are legally blind. States and federal tax authorities also allow certain tax deductions.

Multiple non-government organizations can help people with legal blindness live a more normal life, even with severe vision impairment.

If you are legally blind or care for someone who is, low-vision specialists are typically more familiar with the latest vision aids that help you make the most of the vision you have.

These aids include:

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Diagnosing Low Vision And Vision Loss

An eye doctor measures visual acuity and visual field to determine if a person is legally blind, and whether wearing glasses or contact lenses could improve their vision.

A common test for visual acuity is the Snellen eye chart. Someone who is legally blind would be able to read only the top line of the chart while wearing corrective lenses. The line below the big E is the line for 20/100.

There are also tests that can measure in between 20/200 and 20/100. Someone who cannot view the line for 20/100 but sees somewhere between 20/100 and 20/200 would still meet the government’s standard of legal blindness, which is why it is listed as “20/200 or less.”

Visual field testing often begins with a confrontational visual field test. An eye doctor has you cover one eye at a time. They then hold up one or more fingers in different quadrants of the visual field to find out if you can see them while keeping your eyes focused on a central point ahead.

There are also more comprehensive computerized tests that use flashing, flickering, or moving lights or images to measure your visual field. It involves pressing a button when you see the light or images.

Jul What Does Legally Blind Look Like


I use these images as examples in my presentations.

20/7020/100 definitionThere is only 1 letter of difference on the vision chart between 20/100 and 20/200they are that close in visual acuity

Open this link: legally blindand you will see20/200, which is legally blind20/400

Now, you can get an idea of what a visual impairment actually looks like

About Us

Dr Denise M Robinson, TVI, AT, IT, PhD., founded TechVision to teach students how to fully access their education and be totally included in their schools, jobs and life. Tools required are a PC computer, screen readers, braille displays and other tools necessary to give them the ability to be at the same level as their peers.

Instruction is the key: With the specialized technology instruction needed to utilize these tools, blind/low vision students can achieve their potential.

***Videos of students accessing all aspects of their education is featured on this site. Inclusion is teaching students how to work independently, just as their peers.

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What Causes You To Have Less Than 20/20 Vision

There are several eye conditions that can cause your vision to be less than the average of 20/20. These include refractive errors:

  • Nearsightedness .
  • Presbyopia. This refers to being unable to focus on objects that are close to you. It generally happens as you get older.
  • Astigmatism. In this condition, some part of your eye has an irregular curve.

There are many different conditions that affect your eyesight, including those that are systemic and those that affect only your eyes.

Everyone needs to have regular eye examinations. However, your provider is more likely to stress the need for regular eye examinations if you have disorders like:

A Functional Definition Of Low Vision

Not all eye care professionals agree with an exclusively numerical description of low vision. Here’s another more functional definition of low vision:

  • Low vision is uncorrectable vision loss that interferes with daily activities. It is better defined in terms of function, rather than test results.
  • In other words, low vision is “not enough vision to do whatever it is you need to do,” which can vary from person to person.
  • Most eye care professionals prefer to use the term “low vision” to describe permanently reduced vision that cannot be corrected with regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery.
  • If you have low vision, it is necessary to have a different kind of eye examination that uses different and more detailed tests to determine what you can and cannot see. You can learn more about these specialized eye charts and testing procedures at What is a Low Vision Examination?

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More About The Sight Simulator

Excerpted from Sight Simulator shows you what its like to be legally blind, via CNET:

Ever wondered how the world looks to those with glaucoma or cataracts? A new interactive site lets you see for yourself.

The Sight Simulator is part of a campaign called See Now, aimed at increasing awareness of vision loss and calling for more Congressional funding to combat it in the United States. The Simulator places filters that mimic the effects of cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy on top of Google Street View images, enabling visitors to the site to move a slider and increase the severity of each.

The minimum setting on the site for all three conditions shows a view matching legal blindness. Its defined in the United States as central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best possible correction, and/or a visual field of 20 degrees or less.

Legal blindness is not binary, the See Now site points out. For most people with vision impairment, its not a matter of seeing nothing versus seeing clearly. The reality is somewhere in between.

We believe when people experience what it would be like to lose their sight, from seeing what their own street looks like with poor vision, they will appreciate the problem in a way they never did before, Erin McCallum of the See Now campaign said in a statement. Hopefully this will motivate many people to look after their own eye health and push them to take action to help prevent blindness in others.

Wet Vs Dry Macular Degeneration

20/200 vision

Dry macular degeneration tends to cause gradual vision loss over many years. Wet macular degeneration is more severe, often causing relatively sudden vision changes that may result in serious vision loss.

In the early stages of dry age-related macular degeneration, tiny drusen, or piles of waste product of the cells of the eye, appear on the retina. While nearly everyone over the age of 50 has at least one small drusen, with dry AMD, drusen can lead to deterioration of the retina.

With dry macular degeneration, you may notice visual distortions , a reduction in central vision, a need for increased task lighting, greater difficult adjusting to lower light levels, fading color intensity, and/or a blind spot in your field of vision.

Dry MD can progress to wet macular degeneration, which causes leaking blood vessels under the retina. Wet AMD, representing about 10% of all cases of age-related macular degeneration, is a disease in which new, weak blood vessels form behind the retina, leaking fluids, lipids, and blood into the retina and macula. The leaking particles result in scar tissue and loss of function in the retinal cells.

In this short video, Dr. Nima Pakrou, Opthalmic Surgeon, summarizes the differences between dry and wet macular degeneration.

The leaking fluid may cause you to see a dark spot, or multiple dark spots, in the center of your vision.

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Can People With 20/80 Vision Drive

If your vision is due to just having a refractive error that decreases your vision such as being near or far-sighted then simply getting glasses or contacts will correct it so you can drive. If it is due to a low vision condition then you may need a bioptic telescope to get you to approximately 20/40 for most states to pass the test.

Since 20/80 vision is a condition where a person sees best at 80 feet what others see at 20 feet. The legal limit for driving in the USA is 20/40. If you have been diagnosed with this condition and it is not due to an eye disease or age-related macular degeneration then you can expect that as time goes by your vision will probably not change much. If it is due to disease it is more likely to continue changing. If you can see 20/40 out of at least one eye then you may be able to pass the driving test and your license wouldnt be restricted to daylight driving only. If your vision is worse than 20/40 but better than 20/100 in both eyes you may need a bioptic telescopic system and could get a restricted license for daytime driving only. Every state has different regulations but this is a good rule of thumb for most.

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