What Does 20/20 Vision Mean? (And How Can I Get It?)

September 28th, 2016
young woman holding up prescription glasses

You’ve heard about 20/20 vision, but what does it really mean?

Let’s take a closer look at some vision-related terminology to fully understand how eye doctors measure the quality of your vision and determine your score.

Visual acuity is defined as the sharpness of your vision. It’s measured by your ability to identify letters or numbers on a standardized Snellen eye chart from a specific viewing distance. A visual acuity test is a static measurement, meaning you will be sitting/standing still during the rest and the letters and/or numbers you are viewing will also be stationary.

Although visual acuity testing is helpful in determining the clarity of your eyesight in “standard” conditions, it isn’t predictive of the quality of your vision in all situations. For example, visual acuity will not predict how well you would see:

  • Objects that are similar in brightness to their background
  • Colored objects
  • Moving objects

What is 20/20 Vision?

Oh, fractions (cue fifth grade memories)!

The term 20/20 and similar fractions are visual acuity measurements. The fraction compares the patient’s result (the denominator, if you will) to the result expected from the “normal” visual system (the numerator). The overall fraction describes the smallest size of the letter the patient can identify correctly.

For example, if you can identify the letters on the “normal” visual acuity row on the chart, you have 20/20 vision. The increasingly larger letter sizes correspond to worse visual acuity measurements (20/40, 20/60, etc.). Conversely, the lines with smaller letters correspond with visual acuity measurements that are better than 20/20 (like 20/15 or 20/10).

With LASIK, You Could Achieve 20/20 or Better

If you have less than normal vision acuity, there are many options to improve your vision – glasses… contacts… LASIK surgery!

LASIK uses a laser to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism. Many patients achieve 20/20 or better after having LASIK surgery!

If you are interested in LASIK surgery or other options to achieve normal or better visual acuity, contact the eye doctors at Kleiman | Evangelista today! Call 800-714-2020 or click here to schedule an appointment online.

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