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legally blind?
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legally blind?

What prescription is considered legally blind? My contact prescription is over -5.00. I am wondering if I am legally blind WITHOUT contacts or glasses.
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23 Comments Post a Comment
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233488_tn?1310696703
Although a lot of people use this term "I'm legally blind without glasses" that is totally inaccurate. First legally blind is defined in terms of BEST CORRECTED VISION. Meaning it cannot be applied to conditions corrected with glasses or contacts. Second while myopic individuals like you have poor distance vision without glasses you have 20/20 vision when holding something about 6-8 inches away.

JCH III MD
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Avatar_m_tn
My son's Rx is  sphere +5.0   Cylinder +2.50 with 95 axis. What is the severity of this Rx? Can he see at all without correction? Thanks!
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233488_tn?1310696703
1. That is a very strong RX. Your child has a lot of farsightedness and astigmatism.
2. There is no way to tell what his vision is.
3. He should be under the care of an Eye MD ophthalmologist.

JCH MD
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Avatar_m_tn
I wear my contacts for months at a time, somtimes over 6 months without taking them out, So when I do finally take them out I have a terrible pain when my eye lid closes on my eye, when I wake up the next morining the pain is gone, my contacts have soaked , and diinfected and they go back in with no pain or irritation. I have been doing this for over 10 years, and have worn contacts since I was 18(now37). Can this cause blindness in the future, I have had a ulcer twice in the 10 years from doing this which had to immidiatly be treated with an eye drop antibiotic.  Thanks.
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233488_tn?1310696703
Yes, you are headed for serious eye problems in the future, the worse of which is loss of the eye due to a infected corneal ulcer. Wise up.

JCH MD
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Avatar_m_tn
It's probably breaking down the tissue in your eyes. Contacts worn for too long can cause lens and retinal damage. It can even make your eyesight blurry with correction.
I would suggest getting glasses so you can wear them at night or on the weekends, just so you can give your eyes a break.
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233488_tn?1310696703
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Avatar_f_tn
My daughter is 6 years old and in Kindergarten. She sees 20/40 with glasses and 20/220 without, she has astigmatism and is farsighted. She has always been a quick learner but has had some trouble with reading. Then yesterday she brought home a large print book and breezed through it with no problems. I was surpised and asked if the teacher had read it to her previously and she said no, that was the first time she had read it. Now with normal print books she is having trouble with words and gets d and b mixed up easily. Her eye doctor said that 20/40 is the best she can get to perfect vision, what should I do? I want her to enjoy reading.
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233488_tn?1310696703
Take her to a pediatric ophthalmologist. If you live in USA you can find one near you at www.geteyesmart.org elsewhere most medical school have a pediatric ophthalmologist on their faculty.

A reason needs to be determined why her vision only corrects to 20/40.

JCH MD
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Avatar_f_tn
I dont know what my eye vision is but I have problems getting a clear view when reading or on the computer. I'm never online long at all due to the pressure  I start to feel in my eyes shortly after getting on. I wear bi-focals which doesnt help much because I have to squint to see. Is it possible that i'm going blind?
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233488_tn?1310696703
It is not likely at all that your complaints are an indication of a blinding eye disease.  If you live in US ask your family MD for a referral to an ophthalmologist or go to www.geteyesmart.org  and go in for an eye examination.
JC MD
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Avatar_m_tn
My prescription is -7 and -7.5 is there any type of way to make it better like laser eye surgery or will that not help?
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Avatar_f_tn
My contact lense correction level right now is -7.50 and and I am just seeking some clarification.

1) So, if my vision is completely fixed with lenses then I am not legally blind, correct?

2) I heard that if my correction level is at a certain point then I am considered legally blind. If this is true, what is that level.

3) Last, what  would -7.50 be equivilant to? Ex: 20/20, 20/40, 20/200, etc.
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Avatar_f_tn
My contacts are -8.25 and -7.75 and I'm 17, going on 18. Would it be good to have laser eye surgery or are there more negatives to laser eye surgery than positives?
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233488_tn?1310696703
1. If you can see with glasses or contacts you are never legally blind with or without them.
2. For most people that don't like glasses or contacts refractive surgery like lasik is a good alternative.
3. If you have lasik you will still need reading glasses when you get older starting in early 40's
4. Only an exam by an Eye MD ophthalmologist can tell how much of a myopic RX can be corrected with lasik and how good of a candidate a person is.
5. You can find an Eye MD near you in USA at www.geteyesmart.org

JCH MD
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Avatar_m_tn
I just had an eye exam and my vision has decreased, my left eye they said was -13.25 and right is -13.50. Someone told me that I work with that a -14.00 is legally blind, really?
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233488_tn?1310696703



1. If you can see with glasses or contacts you are never legally blind with or without them.
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Avatar_f_tn
My son has script of 9.00 +1.75 in his right eye and 8.50 +1.25 in left eye. He is going to see a pediatric ophthalmologist. I was curious just how that prescription is in the 20/20 scale
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Avatar_f_tn
There isn't an exact formula for doing the conversion you requested, esp at higher powers.  

That said, if you are really interested, here is link to a discussion thread on a professional optician message board which gives a guideline to this conversion for lower powers.  This thread also outlines how complicated it is to relate a given Snellen visual acuity measurement (i.e. 20/20) to its 'equivalent' corrective lens measurement (diopters and cylinder prescription).  

http://www.optiboard.com/forums/showthread.php/14648-Diopters-to-Visual-Acuity
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Avatar_f_tn
OD -1375 -100 30

OS -1600 -150 140

.   sphere cylinder axis

is that blind ?.  
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Avatar_f_tn
OD -1375 -100 30

OS -1600 -150 140

.   sphere cylinder axis

is that blind ?.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello,

Last prescription had me at -14.50 D in my left eye and -13.75 D in my right eye.  Cylinder for both eyes, I am not 100% sure but in the vicinity of 4.50, and I do not remember what my axes are.  My vision has not been able to be corrected fully due to complication of keratoconus.  I am concerned because I have had my RGP prescription for six months now and once again am having trouble with road signs and large projector screens in my classes even when sitting in the front row.  I know that keratoconus is degenerative with respect to the cornea, and I need to know what my options are at this point.  And yes, I am aware that LASIX is not an option for me.  Any help you could give is greatly appreciated.

Carina Mone
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Avatar_f_tn
Just wanted to post a few thoughts until Dr. Hagan has a chance to review your question.

In terms of your vision worsening, I can think of at least 3 possible reasons:

1.  Your myopia has worsened
2.  Your keratoconus has worsened
3.  Something else is wrong (less likely, if the only symptom is that distant object have become gradually blurrier)

I'll address these in order:

1.  You have very high myopia (I know, I'm a -14.5D).  At your age (early 30s) it's quite possible your myopia has worsened in the past 6 months.  Some people with high myopia have changes of -1D or more in a year.  This could be responsible for the distance blurring you see.

      It's easy to find out if this is the problem - just visit the  doctor who fitted the RGP lenses for a standard visual acuity test to see if the RGP lenses are still the correct prescription, or if you need stronger lenses.  If the optometrist is not able to correct the blurriness with a slightly stronger prescription, it must be something else.

2.  Your keratoconus (KC) could have gotten worse.  Your ophthalmologist should be able to tell whether this is the problem, by mapping the curve of your cornea now against what it looked like the last time you were tested.  

      The good news for you and other KC patients is that there is a new therapy for KC that's in Phase III clinical trials in 26 states in the US right now (including NC) called Corneal Cross Linking (often abbreviated as CXL).  This therapy already is approved in many countries outside the US.  The purpose of the therapy is to slow down the progression of KC by strengthening the bonds (the 'links') of the tissue within the cornea..  

      This therapy generally involves applying a riboflavin solution to the cornea and exposing it to a certain wavelength of UV light for a given period of time.  The UV light acts together with the absorbed riboflavin to strengthen and slightly reshape the cornea.  

      There are variations of the therapy including whether the outer corneal epithelial layer is removed or 'roughed up' before applying the riboflavin (this is an 'epi-off' procedure, vs 'epi-on' where the epithelial layer is left intact).  There are also variations in the intensity, wavelength and duration of the UV light exposure, and other factors.  There have been some papers in Europe comparing the efficacy of the various methods; you can also read about this online if you are interested.

       Here is a website discussing the latest status of the FDA trials of this therapy in the US:  .  
http://www.vision-institute.com/UserFiles/file/HERSH%20CXL%20ARTICLE.pdf

         There are many, many other websites discussing this therapy, so you may already have researched it.  From what I've read it sounds like it might be approved by the FDA for use in the US as early as 2014.

3.  Something else is wrong:  It's possible that there could be some other reason for your decreased distance vision, especially given your high myopia and KC.  So please be sure to have a full evaluation by a board-certified ophthalmologist if the cause isn't clearly found to be either a need for stronger contacts or that your keratoconus has gotten worse.  

Good luck!
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