Unfortunately, a car crash can result in injuries that cost you most, if not all, of your vision. This can happen in one of two ways: a direct eye injury or a traumatic brain injury that temporarily or permanently decreases your vision.
Per the American Foundation for the Blind, your car crash injuries could leave you with one of the following types of vision loss:
- Low vision, i.e., blurry or tunnel vision or blind spots in your vision field
- Legal blindness, i.e., 20/200 vision or less in both eyes
- Total blindness, i.e, no light perception at all
The only good news is that you face a relatively low risk of sustaining an injury that results in your total blindness. Nearly 85% of people suffering from vision impairment perceive at least some light. Nevertheless, if your injuries render you legally blind, this will negatively impact you for the rest of your life.
Understanding legal blindness
The Suellen Eye Chart, that chart your ophthalmologist or optometrist asks you to read every time you go in for an eye exam, measures the sharpness of your vision, also called your visual acuity. The chart contains lines of letters or numbers that become progressively smaller the farther down the chart they appear. When you have perfect vision, you can read the top eight lines. If you become legally blind, however, you will only be able to read the top three lines.
Looked at another way, legal blindness means that you can only see things 20 feet away that people with perfect vision can see at a distance of 200 feet.
While legal blindness usually allows you to differentiate between daytime and nighttime and possibly even see bright colors, movement and shadows, you will find your day-to-day activities severely restricted. For instance, you may well need to use a white cane to help you navigate both indoors and outdoors.