There are extreme vision problems that even glasses or contacts cannot fix. Under visual impairment, there are serious vision problems that usually need assistance from other people who have functional eyesight. The cause of visual impairment differs because it can be a birth defect, genetic disorder, or eye disease. Being in old age and having injuries are other factors that can interfere with a healthy vision.
In the year 2019, corrective lenses and surgical procedures cannot correct some types of visual impairment. There are different ways that vision can be affected depending on the cause of impairment. When macular degeneration occurs, central vision is affected but the peripheral vision is not affected. In glaucoma, the first to be affected is peripheral vision. Double vision or diplopia, sensitivity to light or photophobia, difficulty with visual perception, and visual distortion are some ways that affect vision.
What Is Being “Legally Blind”?
You are considered to be legally blind if your vision is 20/200 with glasses on. A person will be considered to have low vision if he or she has 20/70 or worse vision even with corrective lenses on. It means that looking at an object 20 feet away, you can only see details that a person with normal vision can see in 70 feet.
It is a must to emphasize that blindness is not the same for everyone. Some people were born being blind and others lose their vision as they age. There are instances where it happens quickly and slowly for others. Some people who are blind can perceive light but are not able to see any detail but some people cannot perceive visual information.
Tips for People Who Want to Help Visually Impaired People
Be reminded that they have different situations but they should be treated with dignity and respect. Do not make a big deal when you want to help them. You need to ask first before giving any help. Respect them if they say no to your offer.
These are protocols that you should keep in mind when helping them:
- Ask them where they want you to be when you are assisting them with mobility. Make sure to describe the stairs, curbs, or changes in the ground.
- Describe objects and where they are placed specifically.
- Place items where they asked you to because it helps them to tidy things up.
- Do not pet the dog if you see a visually impaired person with a guide dog. Doing so will distract them from the job that they are doing.