Before the evolution of LASIK — often called laser eye surgery — most efforts to fix people’s vision involved external devices. The most common example, of course, is a pair of glasses. Contacts were then developed for those who didn’t want to wear glasses. Either way, though, these individuals became dependent on their devices to cope with their vision loss.
Corrective surgery was developed in part because people realized that a better method might be to fix the actual problem that a person was having, rather than just giving them a device to help. LASIK can reshape your eyes’ actual tissue so that you can see again.
One question that this sometimes raises is just how effective this could be for someone who would otherwise be legally blind. Could they have their eyes reshaped so that they can see again?
Mild and moderate
Unfortunately, though the day may come when surgery is an option for the blind, it has not arrived yet. Most of the time, laser eye surgery just targets those with mild or moderate conditions. If someone is legally blind, odds are that no type of surgery is going to entirely give them their vision back.
The reason for the confusion is that people often overstate how difficult it is for them to see. Someone who says that they’re “blind without their glasses” is being hyperbolic. They’re not actually blind. Their vision is just very blurry, to the point that it may be hard to function. But it may still be well within the range of what can be corrected.
For someone who has been diagnosed as legally blind, things are much different. Their condition is advanced enough that it’s no guarantee that any current procedure can reverse it. In an ideal future, we will eventually find a solution, but it’s unclear how long that could take.
For those who are legally blind and suffer from advanced vision problems, there are ways to seek disability benefits. These can help tremendously when that person is unable to work.