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What Is Blindness?

What Is Blindness?

Here at For Eyes, our Independent Doctors of Optometry use their expertise to diagnose patients for a wide range of eye issues, including blindness. If you ever have a concern with your vision, you can count on our team to give you the best solutions at an affordable cost.

Whether your vision seems to be gone in one or both eyes, we can help. Our eye doctors have worked with many cases of blindness, and we’d love to help you, too. 

So, what is blindness? Let’s discuss.


What is blindness?

Blindness is a loss of eyesight. Contrary to popular belief, most “blind” people can still see some images. For instance, some people are only color blind, meaning they can’t make out specific colors. Others can’t see out of one eye, but they can see out of the other without issues, which could indicate partial blindness. 

If prescription eyewear can’t enhance your eyesight, you may have a “visual impairment” (or low vision), according to the American Optometric Association (AOA). This can range from 20/30 to 20/1000 vision. 

Those without the ability to see any light have complete blindness, and this is often what comes to mind when people ask, ‘What is blindness?’ In the U.S., anyone whose vision can’t improve beyond 20/200 with the help of glasses or contacts may be blind by the legal definition. 

Beyond blindness, some people may experience vision loss as a result of eye diseases, refractive errors, and other eye issues. Vision loss doesn’t necessarily mean your eyesight is gone, but it means that your vision is deteriorating over time. 

Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Complete or partial loss of sight
  • Difficulty pinpointing colors or shapes
  • Hazy areas in your field of view
  • Issues with your central or peripheral vision


If you have any symptoms of blindness or vision loss, we recommend contacting an eye doctor near you for a comprehensive eye exam right away. Make notes on the following questions to give your optometrist the best information to go on during your appointment:

  • What is the symptom? 
  • Is it in one eye or both eyes?
  • How long have you had it?
  • How often do you experience it? 
  • Does it flare up during specific activities?


What are the top 5 causes of blindness?

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration: This condition develops due to issues with the macula. It often affects your central vision and comes with symptoms such as an inability to identify specific colors, noticing darkened patches in your line of sight, and seeing lines curling into odd shapes.
  • Cataracts: This eye issue is characterized by foggy eye lenses, which keep your eyes from distributing light to the correct place. Adults and children are both susceptible to cataracts and its symptoms, which include blurry vision, extreme light sensitivity, and lower color perception.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: This eye disease is common in people with diabetes and affects the retina and blood vessels behind the eye. Over time, you may experience symptoms such as blurry vision, eye floaters, or random discolorations in your immediate field of view. 
  • Glaucoma: This condition usually happens when your eyes can’t release fluids, which leads to an accumulation of pressure and optic nerve impairment. Some types of glaucoma lack immediate symptoms, while others come with blurry vision, eye pain, or red eyes. 
  • Eye Injuries: This happens most often due to not protecting your eyes during sports or other activities. A top cause of sudden blindness, eye injuries can result in significant harm, and just wearing sports goggles or another type of heavy-duty eyewear can decrease how often eye injuries happen on the field or court. 

What Is Blindness? 1

Summary: Losing Your Vision

Many people experience low vision or vision loss symptoms, but complete blindness is less common. What is blindness? It’s when you can no longer see any light. In the U.S., anyone with 20/200 vision (or worse) is noted as blind if they can’t enhance their vision with corrective lenses. 

The top five causes of blindness include age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and eye injuries. While the symptoms of each condition vary, they can be treated if an optometrist catches the issue early enough.

If you suspect you have a primary cause of blindness or another vision issue, we encourage you to get in touch with an eye doctor right away. Our team will help you schedule an eye appointment at a time that works best for you. 


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