What is Blindness?

Blindness is a term used to refer to vision loss that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Individuals may have different types of blindness: partial blindness is when a person has limited vision and total blindness is when a person is not able to see anything, even light. In North America, individuals with vision worse than 20/200 are considered legally blind1 – often, people who are legally blind can still see but need glasses to view objects clearly.


Blindness has many causes, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Accidents or injuries to surface of the eye


If you have total blindness, you will not be able to see anything; if you are partially blind, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Blurry vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Tunnel vision
  • An inability to see shapes
  • Seeing only shadows


In some cases of partial blindness, eyeglasses, contact lenses, surgery or medication can help restore vision. If your eye doctor finds that your vision cannot be corrected, he or she will provide guidance on how can take to cope with limited vision.