What is 20/20 Vision?

The term “20/20 Vision” should not be mistaken for perfect vision as it only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance.

Very often, eye care professionals and the public use the term “20/20 vision”, but the term should not be mistaken for perfect vision as it only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance.

The term 20/20 vision is used to express the clarity or sharpness of vision measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you will be able to see clearly at 20 feet what normally can be seen at that distance. And, for example, if you have 20/100 vision, it means that you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision can see at 100 feet.

Other important vision skills and abilities, such as peripheral awareness or side vision, eye coordination, depth perception, focusing ability and color vision also contribute to your overall visual competence.

Some people are able to see well at a distance but struggle to bring nearer objects into focus. This condition is caused by either hyperopia (far-sightedness) or presbyopia (loss of focusing ability). Others see objects that are close, while distant objects appear blurred. This condition may be caused by myopia (short-sightedness).

A comprehensive eye examination by your optometrist or ophthalmologist will diagnose the causes that are affecting your ability to see well. Your eye care practitioner will probably prescribe glasses, contact lenses or a vision therapy program that will help improve your vision, but if the diminished vision is due to an eye disease, the use of ocular medication or other treatment may be recommended.


Related: Eyeglass Lens Prescription Explained, Contact Lens Prescription Explained, Vision Prescriptions for Babies – How?.

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