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What is 20/20 vision

By Wyatt Dilling on September 22, 2022 in Vision Health


Is 20/20 vision perfect vision? The answer may surprise you! In this article learn what 20/20 vision

Do you get nervous when you stand in front of the vision chart at your doctor's office? Maybe you try and cheat by uncovering one eye just slightly. All the while you are hoping for 20/20 vision. But what exactly is 20/20 vision and why does it matter? In this article, we will cover everything you should know about your vision score and what to expect if you don’t have the best vision.

What is 20/20 vision?

In general, people know that 20/20 vision is good, but what does it mean?

Imagine looking at an object that is 20 feet away from you. If the object looks clear and sharp, you likely have 20/20 vision. If the object doesn’t look defined at 20 feet away, you may have a higher bottom number, for example, 20/100. If this is the case, it means that you can see at 20 feet what someone with average vision can see at 100 feet away.

Basically, someone who has less than 20/20 vision will need to be closer to an object to see it as clearly as someone with 20/20 vision.

20/20 vision defined

The American Optometric Association (AOA) defines 20/20 vision as “a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet.” It’s important to note that 20/20 vision is not considered “perfect or ideal vision” by the medical community.

Other considerations for good vision

While 20/20 vision is one indicator of having good vision at a distance, there are other factors that must be considered. These include:

Visual clarity and the abilities listed above all must function correctly to have good vision. A comprehensive vision exam considers all sight abilities to determine whether your vision is normal.

What happens if I don’t have 20/20 vision?

If you don’t have 20/20 vision, there is no need to worry! In fact, it’s estimated that only 35 percent of all adults living in the United States have 20/20 vision without vision correction.

There are plenty of options to correct your vision. Your eye doctor will help you decide which corrector is right for you based on your needs and comfort. The most common vision correctors include:

  • Glasses
    • Single vision lenses
    • Multifocal lenses
  • Contacts
    • Soft contact lenses
    • Hard contact lenses
    • Multifocal contact lenses
  • Vision correction surgery

For a full list of common vision correction options click here. 

The right tool for you will depend on things such as your comfort level, how often you need to wear a vision corrector, cost, type of vision problem, and lifestyle. Be sure to work with your eye doctor to choose the option that is most effective and comfortable for you. 

Learn more about why employers should offer vision benefits.