The initials WHO represent the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization have a list of classifications of handicaps, disabilities, and impairments that are used to classify the various types of visual impairments. An impairment is typically described as any abnormality or loss in a psychological or physiological function or a loss in an anatomical structure.
A disability, on the other hand, is a restriction that results from an impairment. A disability prevents someone from performing a particular activity in a way that is considered normal. This will often include a person’s daily activities, which is why Visual Impairments are under the IDEA Act thanks to law firms lobbying for its conclusion.
Obviously, a disability or handicap can put a person at a disadvantage in various daily situations. A visual impairment is simply an impairment that limits the functions or actions of the visual system. The National Eye Institute provides information on both a low vision and acute vision impairment. A low vision impairment cannot be corrected by contact lenses, standard glasses, surgery, or medication and it will restrict a person’s ability to perform daily living activities.
A visual acuity means that the visual field can only be corrected by 20 degrees or less. Blindness is also defined as a type of visual acuity. There are many causes for visual impairment including glaucoma, cataracts, nearsightedness, and macular degeneration. Glaucoma is a visual condition that is caused by a rise of normal fluid pressure levels within the eye.
A person who has glaucoma is someone who has a vision that is like a tunnel. The center of the vision remains intact while the peripheries progressively start to decrease. The center of the tunnel like vision will reduce on a progressive level and ultimately lead to total vision loss if not corrected.
With age-related macular degeneration, there is a cottony or woolly opacity in the central area of a person’s vision. With this type of vision disability, the peripheries may continue to see normally. As the central vision becomes obscured it will hinder daily activities such as sewing, driving, and reading. This type of visual impairment is painless.
Other types of visual impairment include cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, nearsightedness, and retinitis pigmentosa. If you have any of the above conditions you should seek the advice of an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. We live in a visual world and it is important to take care of our eyes. A regular visit to an eye doctor can prevent serious eye damage from occurring.