Almost everyone has heard the term “20/20 vision,” especially if you wear contacts or eyeglasses in Cape Cod. 20/20 vision is often mistakenly referred to as “perfect” vision, but this is not actually what it means! There are other types of vision that are better than 20/20, as well as many types that are far worse.
20/20 vision is measured by viewing something at a distance. However, there are other important vision skills that contribute to your overall visual ability. If you have 20/20 vision, your vision may not be as perfect as you assume it is.
What 20/20 vision means
Essentially, if you have 20/20 this, that means that you can see as well as a normal or “average” person can see. According to the American Optometric Association, the numbers in 20/20 mean that you can clearly see a row of 9mm letters from 20 feet away. This does not mean that your vision is perfect—only average.
20/40 vision is half as good as 20/20 vision, because a person with 20/40 vision can see something at 20 feet that the average can see at 40 feet. A person who is considered to be legally blind will have 20/200 vision, which means they can clearly see something at 20 feet that the average person can see at 200 feet, indicating much poor vision.
It is also possible to have vision better than 20/20. For example, if you have 20/10 vision, you can see something clearly at 20 feet that the average person can see at 10 feet, meaning your eyesight is stronger.
In essence, the first “20” in 20/20 vision boils down to the average visual ability, and the second number is your ability to see the same thing as the average person at a particular distance.
Other aspects of vision that impact visual ability
The distance at which you can see something clearly is not an ultimate indicator of your visual ability, even if you have 20/20 vision or better. Some people are able to see things better at a distance, but the same things get much blurrier when viewed up close; these people are called farsighted. Similarly, nearsighted people can see things clearly close up, but have trouble seeing clearly at a distance. Both types of people will typically require eyeglasses in Cape Cod to correct their vision.
Additionally, your peripheral vision, eye coordination, depth perception, focusing ability and color vision can all affect your visual ability, even if you can correctly identify those letters on a chart from 20 feet away. In order to get a comprehensive view of your visual ability, you’ll need to see an optometrist, who will have you perform a series of tests to accurately portray your full scope of visual abilities.
Visit us to learn about your visual capabilities
For 20 years, Bayview Optometrics has provided customers with superior eye care services, contact lenses and eyeglasses in Cape Cod. Call our store today to learn more about our eye exams and available eyewear!