You will probably feel relieved when your eye exam shows you have 20/20 vision. But what does 20/20 vision really mean?
Today, our trusted eye doctors from Innovative Eyecare explain what visual acuity is and what the 20/20 measurement represents.
Determining Your Visual Acuity
Your visual acuity refers to sharpness of your eyes vision. To measure this, we’ll ask you to stand 20 feet away from the Snellen chart. As you cover one of your eyes, we’ll instruct you to read out loud a series of letters from the chart. We’ll then ask you to repeat the same steps while you cover the other eye.
Your eye doctor explains that each line on the Snellen chart has a corresponding fraction, such as 20/20, that pertains to your visual acuity. The top figure indicates the distance between you and the chart while you were reading the letters, while the bottom number represents the viewing point at which a person with normal visual acuity can identify the same letters easily.
A 20/10 visual acuity result, for example, means you can see an object clearly at 20 feet, while an individual with normal visual acuity could only see it clearly if they were standing 10 feet closer. To be considered legally blind, your visual acuity must be 20/200 or worse in your better eye while you are wearing corrective lenses.
The Importance of Establishing Your Visual Acuity
Most of the time, a comprehensive eye exam starts with a visual acuity test, and for good reason. This test gives your optometrist clues as to whether you have underlying refractive errors, such as myopia. Also known as nearsightedness, this is the most common refractive error and is characterized by difficulties seeing distant objects, while your close-range vision remains sharp.
To illustrate, an individual with 20/20 visual acuity has no problems reading street signs while driving. You, however, may need to be closer to the sign to read the same road instructions. We may prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to compensate for your vision errors and help you achieve “normal” vision.
For more information about your visual acuity and other eye care concerns, call us at (256) 270-0899 or complete our form. We serve Decatur and the surrounding AL communities.