Blindness is a lack of vision, and it cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses. The severity of vision loss varies, as there is both partial and complete blindness. Partial blindness means that one has limited vision, while complete blindness is the complete loss of vision where not even light can be seen. Those who are considered legally blind have vision worse than 20/200 with glasses or contact lenses. This vision loss can happen suddenly or gradually over time.
Causes of Blindness
There are many causes of blindness; however the main causes are accidents to the eye, diabetes, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Accidents to the eye can include chemical burns and sports injuries. These accidents are preventable through the use of protective eyewear. Diabetes can cause blurred vision, leaving shadows or missing areas of vision. Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve, and is caused by increased pressure to the eye. It is the second most common cause of blindness in the United States. Similar to diabetes, it causes tunnel vision or missing areas of vision. Lastly, macular degeneration is when one’s side vision is normal; however their central vision is lost. Other less common causes of blindness include vitamin A deficiency, ocular inflammatory disease, and hereditary diseases of the eye.
How Blindness affects a Person’s Daily Life
Blindness can affect one’s daily living, as low vision can result in difficulty driving, reading, or doing small tasks around the house such as sewing. It is important to acknowledge vision loss, and contact an ophthalmologist or visit an emergency room immediately. An ophthalmologist is a doctor of medicine specializing in diagnosing and treating disorders of the eye. When treating vision loss, it must be dealt with immediately when the vision loss occurs. There are a variety of treatments available, such as treating nutritional causes of blindness through dietary changes. For those who are blind from cataracts, which are the clouding of the internal lens of the eye, cataract surgery is offered to restore sight. Lastly, inflammatory causes of blindness can be treated with medication such as eye drops and pills.
In many cases, blindness is preventable with the right medical care and eye protection. For example, blindness from diabetic retinopathy is preventable by carefully controlling one’s blood sugar levels, exercising, and avoiding obesity and smoking. Patients with an untreatable blindness need the tools to recognize their habits in which they perform their daily tasks. These tools include visual aids and Braille books, which can assist them in functioning more effectively.
The Canadian government recognizes the challenges faced by a family with a member that is blind, and has incentives in place to reduce their tax burden. At Disability Credit Consultants we specialize in obtaining disability benefits for individuals and families supporting members with disabilities such as blindness. If you are living with blindness or are supporting a family member with blindness, you may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit. There are several steps involved in claiming the credit, and certain conditions need to be met