While we'd all like to think we have 20/20 vision or better, the reality is a large portion of us simply don't. But how do you know, and what does 20/20 vision mean anyway? Let's explore:
What is 20/20 Vision?
If you have 20/20 vision your visual acuity is considered 'normal'. This doesn't on the face of it tell you a whole lot, (what is normal?!!) But what it does tell you is that your vision for certain activities is considered fine and you don't require glasses for those activities. Note, it doesn't mean you don't need glasses or contact lenses for any activities, but more on that later.
20/20 is a reference to distance (measured in feet). In Australia, optometrists often refer to 6/6 vision. This is exactly the same thing as 20/20, however the 20 feet has been converted to the metric scale (6m). We'll stick to using the term 20/20 in this article as it's the one most Australians are familiar with.
The 20 feet is the distance which you need to stand from specified eye charts (the Snellen chart is most commonly used) in order to complete the eye test and determine your visual acuity.
Some people with better than average visual acuity may be assessed as having say, 20/15 vision. This means they can read a line on the eye chart from 20 feet that the average 20/20 John Doe can only read from 15 feet.
Conversely, other people with worse than average visual acuity may be assessed as having say 20/30 vision. This means they can only read a line on the eye chart at a distance of 20 feet that a person with 20/20 vision would be able to see from 30 feet.
You get the drift, essentially 20/20 is a useful baseline from which to gauge your visual acuity.
Now you have an understanding of what it means, how do you tell if you have 20/20 vision?
Do I have 20/20 Vision?
Plenty of websites offer free online 20/20 vision tests. They only take a couple of minutes to perform and will ask you to read out lines of letters on a Snellen eye chart or similar while covering one eye, then covering the other. Taking turns, with each eye, tests out the visual acuity of both eyes independently and this is important as often one eye is weaker than the other.
While these online tests are useful for identifying vision issues, we still recommend you see an optometrist to have your eyes professionally tested. This is for two reasons, firstly it ensures that the 20/20 test is carried out 100% correctly, and secondly it means other tests can be performed at the same time to rule out other problems with your vision. We mentioned above that even with 20/20 vision you may still require corrective eyewear; this is because the 20/20 test does not measure all aspects of vision needed for all activities. For instance, the 20/20 test doesn't pick up issues with depth perception, colour blindness, focussing ability on moving objects and more.
What if my Vision is Worse than 20/20?
Many visual acuity problems can easily be assisted with prescription glasses or contact lenses. It's as simple as making an appointment with your optometrist to start the process of restoring your working vision to 20/20.
For the latest in eye testing technology, contact The Eyewear House today.