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How to Get 20/20 Vision? Everything You Should Know

In dis­cussing what is per­fect vision, we often find peo­ple mak­ing ref­er­ence to the phrase “20/20 vision”. It is deemed by many peo­ple to refer to a per­son who has what we may call per­fect vision; which means that the per­son has no need for glass­es or con­tact lens­es and can see just fine. But this idea of eye­sight is flawed because 20/20 vision is not exact­ly what most peo­ple believe it is.

We have out­lined the most impor­tant things one should know about this con­cept, the impor­tance of vision appoint­ments, the notion of what is per­fect vision, and com­mon ways to bet­ter one’s eye­sight.

The 20/20 Vision Meaning

Dur­ing the major­i­ty of vision appoint­ments, the doc­tor usu­al­ly con­ducts an eye exam to mea­sure and deter­mine the sharp­ness and clar­i­ty of our vision. If any issues are noticed dur­ing this process, the doc­tor may rec­om­mend the use of cor­rec­tive lens­es to fix it and help improve our sight. They could be in the form of glass­es or con­tact lens­es. By using these cor­rec­tive tools, the idea is to improve the clar­i­ty of sight by chang­ing the way light enters the eye.

Testing Visual Acuity

Young Woman in Optic Store Choosing New Cool-Down Glasses With Optician

In the sim­plest terms, visu­al acu­ity refers to how sharp our vision is. Dur­ing the vision appoint­ments that test visu­al capac­i­ty, the optometrist will use a stan­dard­ized eye chart. An object will usu­al­ly be placed at about 20 feet away and then tests and obser­va­tions are car­ried out to deter­mine how well the patient can see the object at that dis­tance. With the exam­i­na­tion chair also placed at a spe­cif­ic dis­tance from where the patient is sit­ting, the optometrist will deter­mine if their vision is clear or not. If it’s found to be clear, then the patient can be said to have nor­mal eye­sight com­pared to most peo­ple, or the “per­fect vision”, which is a com­mon layman’s term.

Visu­al acu­ity tests are done using a stan­dard­ized Snellen eye chart and are car­ried out on one eye first before mov­ing to the oth­er one. The mea­sure­ment of visu­al acu­ity is sta­t­ic which means that the num­bers or let­ters we’re required to focus on are placed in a sta­tion­ary posi­tion while we’re also sit­ting in a sta­tion­ary posi­tion.

Typ­i­cal­ly, the num­bers and let­ters are black in col­or while the back­ground of the chart will be white, high­light­ing the need for high con­trast con­di­tions when test­ing for visu­al acu­ity.

The num­bers or let­ters on the chart are indica­tive of the dis­tance some­one with nor­mal sight would have to be at in order to see what the patient is see­ing at that dis­tance of 20 feet.  Depend­ing on the patient’s con­di­tion, the num­bers will con­tin­u­al­ly change with the top num­ber reflect­ing the dis­tance between the chart and the patient while the bot­tom num­ber reflects pos­si­ble refrac­tive error.

For instance, if we are told that we have a 20/80 vision after the tests, this means that in order to see what some­one with stan­dard or “per­fect vision” can see at 80 feet away, we have to come with­in 20 feet dis­tance of that object.

Is It Possible to See Better Than 20/20 Vision?

In answer­ing the ques­tion of what is per­fect eye vision, it’s impor­tant to appre­ci­ate sev­er­al ram­i­fi­ca­tions of visu­al acu­ity. That said, there is the con­cept of legal blind­ness which refers to a sit­u­a­tion where a person’s vision reach­es 20/200 or above. On the oth­er hand, it is pos­si­ble to have a reverse posi­tion like a 20/15 vision. This means that stand­ing at 20 feet, the patient sees with clar­i­ty what some­one with stan­dard vision sees at 15 feet dis­tance. 

It might be shock­ing for some­one to have a vision bet­ter than what is deemed “nor­mal”. How­ev­er, it’s not uncom­mon as there are LASIK cor­rec­tive pro­ce­dures that can make this pos­si­ble, just like there is a 20/20 LASIK option. There­fore, 20/20 vision mean­ing is actu­al­ly focused on the stan­dard and the most com­mon vision acu­ity of peo­ple with no need for cor­rec­tive lens­es to live com­fort­ably. In that respect, 20/20 may be the answer to what is per­fect vision to some peo­ple, but for oth­ers, it may not.

Myopia Vs. Hyperopia

Myopia refers to near­sight­ed­ness, which is a sit­u­a­tion where a per­son can see objects that are near­by but have seri­ous dif­fi­cul­ty focus­ing on dis­tant objects. On the oth­er hand, Hyper­opia is the direct oppo­site, refer­ring to the ease to focus on objects in the dis­tance but trou­ble with clear­ly see­ing objects that are very close. This dis­tinc­tion is impor­tant in under­stand­ing the con­cept of vision.

Is 20/20 Vision Possible to Achieve?

So, what is per­fect eye vision? Based on the pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned 20/20 vision mean­ing, it is obvi­ous that 20/20 vision is not exact­ly syn­ony­mous with the term “per­fect vision” as it is pos­si­ble to achieve an eye­sight clar­i­ty bet­ter than 20/20. But 20/20 is what you may call the norm and if the patient’s tests reveal that they’re below the norm, they will be referred to a range of poten­tial cor­rec­tive solu­tions, from meds to cor­rec­tive lens­es and 20/20 LASIK pro­ce­dures.

  • Glass­es: the doc­tor may rec­om­mend this to help with vision cor­rec­tion. The rec­om­mend­ed lens­es would usu­al­ly be cus­tomized to match the patient’s unique eye prob­lems togeth­er with the added option of mul­ti­ple pre­scrip­tions.
  • Con­tact Lens­es: these have a sim­i­lar use as glass­es. Some peo­ple sim­ply do not like wear­ing glass­es and this could be a good option for them.
  • Laser Eye Surgery: this is one of the many perks of mod­ern tech­nol­o­gy. It’s now pos­si­ble to use lasers to change the shape of the cornea and thus improve refrac­tive errors. For instance, 20/20 LASIK is a rather com­mon solu­tion in this case.
  • Med­ica­tion: this applies only when the doc­tor deter­mines that the bad vision is caused by eye dis­ease and cer­tain meds can be use­ful for slow­ing down the pro­gres­sion of that dis­ease.

What Are Some of the Issues with 20/20 Vision?

Tired Woman Takes off Glasses Rubbing Nose Bridge

Even if the patient is observed to have 20/20 vision, this is still not a con­clu­sive assess­ment of how well their eye­sight func­tions in all sit­u­a­tions. The rea­son is that the cir­cum­stances of the test can be lim­it­ing. 

For one, due to the sta­tion­ary nature of the chart and the spe­cif­ic design and col­or con­trast that num­bers and let­ters come in, the test does not account for the diverse forms of visu­al stim­u­la­tion the eyes will be con­front­ed with out­side the doctor’s office. The patient’s reg­u­lar dai­ly activ­i­ties are not reflect­ed suf­fi­cient­ly in the process of the test. 

For the most part, the test is accu­rate but it is not con­clu­sive in terms of how well one can see things such as objects that have no con­trast, dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed col­ors, and mov­ing objects.

A Comprehensive Eye Exam

More than sim­ply deter­min­ing whether a patient has 20/20 vision, tak­ing a com­pre­hen­sive eye exam will help mea­sure and deter­mine all the pos­si­ble fac­tors that affect their vision.

The doc­tor exam­ines both the exter­nal and inter­nal parts of the patient’s eye in a bid to assess the over­all state of eye health. Usu­al­ly, this is done using a bio­mi­cro­scope or a slit lamp which will make the lens, optic nerve, cornea, and reti­na clear­er for the doctor’s obser­va­tion.

An addi­tion­al option is a dilat­ed exam which refers to a process where eye drops are applied to the eye to enlarge the pupils and make it pos­si­ble for the eye doc­tor to see the back of the eye with more clar­i­ty and diag­nose the prob­lem.

With every­thing said, it’s dif­fi­cult to give an answer to what is per­fect eye vision. 20/20 eye­sight is the nor­ma­tive bar for see­ing with­out dif­fi­cul­ty for a prac­ti­cal, safe, and com­fort­able lifestyle. How­ev­er, it’s also pos­si­ble for peo­ple to see with even more clar­i­ty than 20/20. Of course, every­one who wants to take care of their eye­sight and poten­tial­ly cor­rect it effec­tive­ly should make it a point to vis­it a doc­tor soon­er than lat­er. That said, you are wel­come to get in touch with us at Dia­mond Vision Eye Surgery Cen­ter in one of our clin­ics in New York, New Jer­sey, Con­necti­cut, and Atlanta. Sched­ule your free ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion and take the first step to see the world more clear­ly.

April 4th, 2021|Comments Off on How to Get 20/20 Vision? Everything You Should Know

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