20/20 vision is a term used to describe normal vision measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. If you have 20/100 vision, it means that you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision sees at 100 feet. 20/20 is an American term, in Ireland eye care professionals measure vision in meters instead of feet. Instead of 20/20 vision, the goal is 6/6.
Having 20/20 vision does not necessarily mean you have perfect vision. 20/20 vision only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance – but it’s a good start! Other important vision skills, including peripheral vision, eye coordination, depth perception, focusing ability and colour vision, contribute to your overall visual ability.
Some people can see well at a distance but are unable to bring nearer objects into focus. This condition can be caused by hyperopia (farsightedness) or presbyopia (loss of focusing ability). Others can see items that are close but cannot see those far away. This condition may be caused by myopia (nearsightedness). The goal of glasses or contact lenses is to bring a person’s vision back up to 20/20 if it is falling short.
A comprehensive eye examination by our optometrist here at Gill Opticians can diagnose what is affecting your ability to see well. In most cases, our optometrist can prescribe glasses, contact lenses or a vision therapy program that will help improve your vision. If the reduced vision is due to an eye disease, you may be referred on to an Ophthalmologist for further investigation.