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How difficult seeing up close

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults who are not blind (or if it was unknown if they were blind) and who wear glasses or contact lenses but still have trouble seeing, VDIFCLOSE indicates the degree of difficulty persons have doing work or hobbies that require them to see well up close. Examples of activities mentioned included cooking, sewing, fixing thing around the house, or using hand tools.

This variable is included in the Sample Adult Vision Supplement, sponsored by the National Eye Institute.


The change in the universe over time is not substantial, and this variable is completely comparable for 2002 and 2008. However, the additional response category "do not do this activity," added for 2002 forward somewhat limits comparability with the 1999 survey. Although it is not clear how persons who did not do the activity would have answered in 1999, responses may have been coded as "not ascertained.". To increase comparability across years, researchers are advised to combine the categories "Can't do at all" and "Do not do this activity" when comparing data collected before and after 2000.


  • 1999; 2002: Sample adults age 18+ who are not blind or REF/NA/DK if blind or REF/NA/DK if have trouble seeing even when wearing glasses/contact lenses.
  • 2008; 2016 2017: Sample adults 18+ who are not blind or for whom it was unknown whether they were blind.


  • 1999, 2002, 2008, 2016-2017