What does 20-20 Vision mean?

The term 20-20 vision is talked about a lot when it comes to eyes or vision-related conversations. But what exactly is 20-20 vision? Is it the epitome of perfect vision? Is it used commonly all over the world? Could you still need glasses/contacts with 20-20 vision?

All you need to know about 20-20 vision

Many questions about 20-20 vision might be running through your mind. Below, we go through all the important facts that will clarify the 20-20 vision.

Meaning of 20-20 vision

The clarity and sharpness with which your eyes can see is called Visual Acuity. And having 20-20 vision means that you have normal Visual Acuity. But what do these numbers 20-20 actually represent?

In layman’s terms, a person with 20-20 vision can see objects 20 feet away with the same clarity as an average person would from the same distance. 20-20 vision is a measurement criterion for visual acuity. And people with 20-20 vision are considered to have normal visual acuity.

To check vision acuity, eye specialists use the Snellen chart (the chart with letters and numbers in different sizes). The chart is usually hung at a distance of 20 feet from where the patient sits to see the chart.

Fun fact: Now, you may have heard about 20-20 vision being used around a lot, but it’s not used globally. The 20-20 measurement started in the US as they use feet to measure distance. In the UK and most of Europe, 6-6 vision is used for normal vision. Here, 6 stands for 6 meters because the standard unit for measurement of distance in Europe is in meters, unlike in the US.

Is 20-20 vision perfect?

If you wish to boast your 20-20 vision, you might want to reconsider. Here’s why: 20-20 vision is not a perfect vision but is normal or average. People can have better visual acuity than 20-20 & it’s common. Moreover, other factors, such as peripheral vision, depth perception, eye coordination, ability to focus, and colour perception, could affect your overall vision.

What numbers are better or worse than 20-20?

As stated above, 20-20 vision is just normal or average vision. One can have better or worse visual acuity than 20-20. So, how do we know what numbers are better or worse? The maths is simple. To demonstrate this, we take two examples: 20-30 vision and 20-15 vision.

If someone has 20-30 vision, it means the person can see clearly things from 20 feet distance which a normal or average person could from 30 feet. This means that a person with 20-30 vision would need to move closer than a person with normal vision to see something clearly.

Similarly, a person with 20-15 vision can see things clearly from 20 feet which a normal person would see clearly from 15 meters. So, what normal people would see clearly from a certain distance, someone with 20-15 vision could see clearly from a farther distance.

Now, you might be thinking what’s the best or worst visual acuity in humans? Humans aren’t capable of having visual acuity better than 20-10. Talking about the worst visual acuity, it’s a bit complex. People can have bad vision, worst vision, or no vision at all. In technical terms, however, people with 20/200 vision or worse with eyeglasses or contacts are considered legally blind.

Could you still need glasses with 20-20 vision?

Unless there are other underlying conditions with your eyes, you wouldn’t need eyeglasses or contacts with 20-20 vision. However, with age (after 40 years), you may need eyeglasses to offset vision issues caused by Presbyopia.

What should I do if my vision is less than 20-20?

If your vision is less than 20-20 or if you think your visual acuity might be less than 20-20, you should see an eye specialist. An eye specialist would be the best person to suggest whether you need eyeglasses, vision therapy, or if you should skip all of it.

If you have vision issues and aren’t able to see near or farther objects clearly and wouldn’t like to have a pair of glasses or contacts to aid your vision, come see us at Planet LASIK. Planet LASIK is the only private center in Delhi offering complete refractive solutions under one roof.

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