If your last eye exam revealed that you have 20/20 vision, you probably walked out of the eye care center with a big smile! It’s a great feeling to be able to see without eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, did you know that 20/20 vision is not the same as having perfect vision? So what is it?
At Turner Eye Institute, when Dr. Chirag R. Patel announces the results of your eye exam, he is reporting on your visual acuity, which is the clarity of your eyesight. These numbers describe how well your eyes can see an object that’s 20 feet away. If you can see it clearly, then your vision is considered “normal” – but not “perfect.” That’s because even if you have 20/20 vision, you could still have problems with peripheral vision, color vision, eye coordination, focusing, or depth perception. To find out your visual acuity and total eye health, book an eye exam with our San Leandro, California, optometrist near you.
How does my eye doctor test visual acuity?
Typically, every eye exam and vision screening includes having you read the Snellen Eye Chart. This diagnostic tool appears as lines of block letters and numbers printed in progressively smaller sizes. The first line will display one huge letter, such as an “E”, and as you move down the chart row by row, the letters get smaller, and there are more of them per line. The lower down on the chart you can read correctly, the closer you are to being diagnosed with 20/20 vision. The bottom row (eight down) is 20/20 vision.
What if I don’t have 20/20 vision?
Don’t worry, you’re in good company! Statistics say that almost half of US adults don’t have 20/20 vision.
Depending on what your visual acuity is, you may need vision correction with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, or LASIK refractive surgery, to help you achieve 20/20 vision, or close to it. But not everyone can get to 20/20 – even with corrective treatment. In other words, some people can only see at 60 feet what others with normal vision can see at 20 feet (=20/60 vision). However, that doesn’t mean you can’t see well enough to function. For example:
- If our eye care professional detects that you have 20/40 vision, it’s still enough to get a driver’s license.
- If you have 20/80 vision, you should still be able to read headlines in a newspaper and tell the time on an alarm clock placed 10 feet away.
- If your visual acuity deteriorates to 20/200 vision, you’ll be classified as legally blind.
Can I have better than 20/20 vision?
Sure, especially if you’re a bird of prey! Falcons see about eight times better than humans, with a visual acuity of about 20/2. All jokes aside, even humans can have vision that’s sharper than 20/20, such as 20/15. That means you can back up five feet during your eye exam and still read the Snellen eye chart the same as a person with normal vision standing five feet closer to the chart.
Why do I need good vision?
There are lots of reasons why it’s smart to invest in good vision by visiting our San Leandro eye care center near you for regular eye exams. Don’t underestimate the value of sharp, healthy vision in your life! Here are a few important benefits of 20/20 vision:
- Reading with ease: reading is essential for day-to-day life, whether you read the newspaper, your smartphone, documents at work, letters and bills, or just want to enjoy a good novel.
- Comfort: without sharp vision, you’ll need to squint all the time, leading to headaches and muscle strain.
- Safety: activities such as driving and biking become extremely hazardous if you can’t see. Even if you’re just taking a walk, having sharp visual acuity will help prevent you from tripping and falling.
- Quality of life: clear eyesight goes far towards your quality of life! Without sharp vision, who knows what scenes and wonderful moments you’ll miss out on?
At Turner Eye Institute, we’ll help you to see the best that you can see! Contact our San Leandro, California, optometrist to schedule an eye exam near you today.
At Turner Eye Institute, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 800-339-2733 or book an appointment online to see one of our San Leandro eye doctors.
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