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20/20 Vision: What Does It Mean and Why Is It Important?

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When your eye doctor talks to you about “20/20 vision,” and whether you need vision correction such as eyeglasses or contacts to achieve it, what exactly are they talking about?

The term 20/20 vision refers to the ability of a person to see an object clearly from 20 feet away.

Having 20/20 vision is important for many reasons, including increased comfort and quality of life. Clear vision allows you to live more independently, and participate in activities that help you enjoy your life day-to-day. Whether you’re driving yourself to the grocery store, playing your favorite sport, or learning in the classroom, good eyesight is essential.

Why Is My Vision Less Than 20/20?

It’s very common to have less than 20/20 vision. In many cases it’s because of certain problems with the shape or structure of the eye.

Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the eyes are too long or their corneas are curved too steeply. In contrast, when the eyes are too short or their corneas are too flat, a person becomes farsighted, a condition called hyperopia.

If the cornea or lens of your eye is uneven, you may also experience astigmatism, which can negatively affect the quality of your vision as well.

Starting in their 40’s, most people develop presbyopia, age-related farsightedness. It occurs when the lens of your eye begins to harden, making it difficult for the eye to shift between close-up vision and distance vision.

All of these conditions cause your vision to be less than 20/20. Fortunately, each one can be easily detected as part of your annual comprehensive eye exam at Family Vision Care

If our Mt Pleasant eye doctors find that your vision is less than 20/20, we’ll prescribe  glasses or contact lenses that work with your specific needs and lifestyle. Come visit our eye care clinic or give us a call at 843-881-2492 today.


Can vision be better than 20/20?

Yes. A person with 20/20 vision doesn’t have perfect vision. They have normal vision. Eye care professionals regularly work with patients that have 20/15 or even 20/10 vision.

How can my doctor tell if I have 20/20 vision?

Your eye doctor can determine your visual acuity as part of a comprehensive eye exam. They’ll first ask you to read letters off a chart, called a Snellen chart, first with one eye covered, then the other, and finally with both eyes uncovered. Once you’ve done this, your eye doctor will have a good picture of your vision and what prescription you may need to correct it.

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