We talk a great deal about 20/20 vision, but what does this really mean? Do you have it? If not, how can you achieve it?
As experienced optometrists, Dr. Curtis Frank and the team here at Vision and Ortho-K have devoted our practice to helping people to achieve great vision. It might surprise you to know that not many people have natural 20/20 vision, as nearly 200 million adults in the United States wear corrective lenses.
In the following, we explore what 20/20 vision means and how we can help you to see more clearly.
Understanding 20/20 vision
The concept behind 20/20 vision is quite simple — you’re able to see something clearly that’s 20 feet away from you. We consider this to be normal visual acuity, so it’s not correct to assume that 20/20 vision is perfect.
People who have 20/15 or 20/10 vision, for example, can see something at 20 feet that people with normal vision would only see at 15 or 10 feet.
On the flip side, when you have 20/50 vision, for example, you see something clearly 20 feet away that people with 20/20 vision can see at 50 feet.
As the bottom number climbs, it means that your visual acuity goes down. When the number reaches 20/200, we consider this to be legally blind.
Another important point about 20/20 vision is that this doesn’t apply to other vision problems, such as a loss of peripheral vision, lack of depth perception, or color blindness.
Problems that affect 20/20 vision
There are several issues that can prevent you from having normal 20/20 vision, such as:
- Myopia — you don’t see clearly at a distance
- Hyperopia — you don’t see objects close to you clearly
- Astigmatism — an irregular curve in your cornea that creates vision issues
- Presbyopia — age-related inability to focus on objects close to you
These vision issues are grouped under refractive errors, which means your eyes aren’t bending light correctly, causing light to fall in front of or behind your retina.
Achieving 20/20 vision
After a comprehensive eye exam to determine your vision number, if we find that you do have a refractive error, there are many ways we can help you see more clearly, such as:
- Prescription sunglasses
- Contact lenses
- Ortho-k lenses
- Scleral lenses
Many people opt for LASIK surgery, a technique in which your cornea is reshaped to help correct the refractive error.
Determining which solution is best for providing you with 20/20 vision is a decision only you can make. Some people dislike the idea of contact lenses or the lenses feel uncomfortable, in which case they choose glasses or surgery. In other cases, people prefer glasses, especially if they only need them for certain activities, such as driving.
Of course, we can help guide you in your decision-making, and we’re happy to help you try out different lenses to ensure you find one that’s comfortable.
To get on the road to 20/20 vision, schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Boston or Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts.