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Certificate of Visual Impairment

A certificate of visual impairment may be issued to a patient if their consultant feels that they have poor vision (with glasses on if required) that is unlikely to improve that fits the required standards.

As a guide, in order to be registered as severely sight impaired (blind), your sight has to fall into one of these categories, whilst wearing any glasses or contact lenses that you may need:

-          visual acuity of less than 3/60 with a full visual field

-          visual acuity of between 3/60 and 6/60 with a severe reduction in field of vision such as tunnel vision

-          visual acuity of 6/60 or above but with a very reduced field of vision, especially if a lot of sight is missing in the lower part of the field

In order to be registered as sight impaired (partially sighted) your sight has to fall into one of these categories, whilst wearing any glasses or contact lenses that you may need:

-          visual acuity of 3/60 to 6/60 with a full field of vision

-          visual acuity of up to 6/24 with a moderate reduction of field of vision or with a central part of the vision that is cloudy or blurry

-          visual acuity of up to 6/18 if a large part of your field of vision, for example a whole half of your vision, is missing or a lot of your peripheral vision is missing

If you feel that your sight falls into any of these categories, then you may wish to discuss the possibility of registration with your consultant, optician or GP. Mary and Laura are also able to discuss the process although only a consultant ophthalmologist can sign the certificate and make the final decision as to whether you fulfil the registration criteria.

If you have been seen at Bristol Eye Hospital within the last three months and have had an eye test then we can use these results to decide whether you fit the criteria. However, if your last eye test was longer than three months ago or you have been discharged then you will need to be seen again by one of our clinicians. We are unable to accept eye test results from your own optician. If you have been discharged then you will need to be referred to us by your GP or optician. You may wish to make an appointment with your optician as they will be able to tell you whether you are likely to fulfil the criteria for registration although they will not be able to complete and sign the form.