What Does 20/20 Vision Mean?

Feb 4, 2020

20/20 vision is something that most people want to have. But, what does the measurement actually mean? This 2020, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about 20/20 vision.

What is 20/20 vision?

Contrary to popular belief, 20/20 vision does not necessarily indicate perfect vision. Instead, it is a measurement that reflects one quality of vision called acuity, or the clarity and sharpness of vision.

When we measure acuity, we do so at a distance of 20 feet, indicated by the first number. If you have 20/20 vision, this means that you can see at 20 feet what someone with normal vision can see at 20 feet. Conversely, if you have 20/100 vision, that means that you see at 20 feet what a person with normal vision would see at 100 feet.

Snellen Chart

How do you test for 20/20 vision?

Eye charts are one of the most common ways to test visual acuity. If you’ve been to an eye exam, you will likely recognize the chart below.

This chart is called the Snellen Chart, developed by an ophthalmologist named Herman Snellen in the 1800’s. It is usually comprised of 11 lines of capital letters that get progressively smaller on each line. For children who cannot read, pictures may be used instead of letters on the chart.

To use the Snellen Chart, patients cover one eye and read the letters as best they can. This allows eye care professionals to accurately measure a patient’s acuity. It is one of many important routine tests performed during a regular eye exam.

However, eye experts don’t rely on only visual acuity when determining thequalityof a patient’s vision. Having 20/20 vision doesn’t necessarily mean that you see perfectly. You may be able to see well at a distance of 20 feet but have other concerns like poor up-close vision (farsightedness), depth perception, or color vision.

Our eye specialists at Columbus Laser and Cataract Center thoroughly evaluate your unique eye health and vision needs, taking all of those aspects of vision into account—not just acuity. After all, having 20/20 vision is just one component of good vision.

Are you ready to improve your vision?

If you are interested in improving your vision, it may be time to discuss whether LASIK, AST, or cataract surgery with premium IOLs could be right for you! For more information, call us today at 614-939-1600.