Hayden Optometric Inc.
94 N Main St Mansfield MA 02048 +1 508-339-3952
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(508) 406-9342

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Mansfield, MA


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The Wide Spectrum Of Visual Impairment

Most of the time, when we hear the word “blind,” we think that means total blindness, but it’s not always that simple.

There is a wide range of visual impairment beyond what glasses can correct, and it’s important for sighted people to understand what that range is so that we will be better equipped to provide the right kind of assistance. It’s also important to realize that being visually impaired doesn’t mean losing the ability to lead a full, exciting life!

The Many Forms Of Visual Impairment

A variety of eye diseases, genetic disorders, and birth defects, as well as old age and injuries, can interfere with healthy vision. Sometimes the vision loss is too severe to be corrected with lenses and not eligible to be repaired with modern procedures.

These visual impairments don’t all work the same. Some, like macular degeneration, erode the central vision without affecting peripheral vision. It is also possible to have a narrowed field of vision, in which central vision is fine but the peripheral vision is limited. Other visual impairments include photophobia (inability to tolerate light), diplopia (double vision), visual distortion, and difficulty with visual perception.

Low Vision And Blindness

If someone has 20/70 visual acuity (meaning that they can only see something 20 feet away as well as something a person with normal vision can see from 70 feet away) or worse in their best eye even with corrective lenses, they have “low vision.” If they have 20/200 visual acuity in their best eye or worse, they are considered legally blind.

Even total blindness isn’t the same for everyone. Some people are blind from birth. Others lose their vision over time, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Some blind people can tell the difference between light and darkness, while others can’t perceive any visual information at all.

What Can We Do To Help?

Every visually impaired person’s situation is unique, but what they all have in common is that they are still people who deserve to be treated with respect. Talk to them like you would anyone else, and don’t just jump in and try to be a knight in shining armor. Politely greet them, introduce yourself, and ask if they need help. If they want help with mobility, ask them where they want you, match their walking speed, and describe upcoming obstacles like curbs, stairs, and sudden changes in the angle of the ground.

Be very specific when describing objects or places/placements. If you place something in front of the person you are helping, let them know where you placed it so they don’t lose track of it. If you’re in their home, you might offer to help tidy up, but make sure you place everything exactly where they want it or they may not be able to find it again.

Finally, if you see a visually impaired person with a guide dog, do not distract the dog while it’s working! As much as we all love petting friendly dogs, these highly trained canines have an important job to do.

Take Good Care Of Your Own Vision

Technology and medicine are advancing at an astounding rate, and the day when all forms of blindness and vision loss become curable might not be too many years in the future. Until then, we should all strive to help our vision-impaired family members, friends, and neighbors, and we should do everything we can to keep our own vision healthy.

Keep looking for ways you can help!

Top image by Flickr user Oregon State University used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Visit Us in Mansfield, MA

Discover everything our practice has to offer in person at our Main Street location.


94 N Main St
Mansfield, MA 02048

Contact Information

Phone: 508-339-3952
Fax: +1 (508) 339-6907
  • Monday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday: 9:00am - 6:30pm
  • Wednesday: 9:00am - 4:00pm
  • Thursday: 9:00am - 6:30pm
  • Friday: 9:00am - 3:00pm
  • Saturday: 8:30am - 11:30am
  • Sunday: Closed
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Why Choose Hayden Optometric?

Our Brands

Our Brands

Your eyes are unique, and so is your sense of style, which is why selecting your frames and lenses is a very personal choice. Your frames should fit your sense of style, and your lenses should suit your vision needs. Hayden Optometric Inc. is proud to offer a wide variety of brands so that we can help you find the frames and lenses that best suit your needs and style.

We're Revolutionizing Eye Care

We're Revolutionizing Eye Care

Hayden Optometric wants to be a thought leader in the eye health industry. We are always dedicated to making life better for our patients. In fact, our own Dr. Joel Hayden has leveraged his knowledge as an optometrist and nutritionist to develop his own line of eye wipes and fish oil to bolster your eye health.



Dr. Hayden is also the founder of HALT Myopia; the Hayden Advanced Lens Therapy System. Designed for nearsighted kids, HALT Myopia has been called “LASIK for kids,” only without lasers, scalpels, pain, recovery, or risk of overcorrection.

Read more about HALT and other methods of myopia control.

The Future of Eye Health Technology

The Future of Eye Health Technology

We really value innovation. That’s why we rely on some of the most advanced technology available to help us examine, diagnose, and treat all of our patients. When you choose Hayden Optometric, you know you’re getting some of the most state-of-the-art equipment the industry has to offer.

Hayden Optometric is powered by WellFed Nutrition.

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