What is 20/20 Vision?

Most people think of 20/20 vision as great eye sight, but do you really know what it means? It’s the result of a test your optometrist performs to evaluate your visual acuity – how well you see with each eye, based on the smallest letter that you are able to distinguish on a chart measured at a distance of 20 feet…


Example: 20/60. If your distance visual acuity is 20/60, then a person with 20/20 vision is able to see as well at 60 feet as you do at 20 feet. In this case, your vision is worse than someone with 20/20 vision.


It’s important to note that healthy eye sight is more than simply passing the eye test. Being able to achieve 20/20 vision does not necessarily mean you have perfect vision, it only indicates the sharpness or clarity of your eye sight at a distance. Other important and related vision skills such as peripheral vision, eye coordination, depth perception, focusing ability, contrast perception, and color vision, cannot be detected from the eye chart, yet all play vital roles in the overall visual system. And the general health of your eyes is beyond what the eye chart can reveal, 20/20 vision tells nothing about your eye fluid pressure, whether you have glaucoma (a sight-threatening disease associated with high eye pressure), how dry your eyes are or whether your retina is normal.


In conclusion, the visual acuity detected from the eye chart is just one component of the comprehensive eye exam. Getting your eyes checked yearly is imperative for a lifetime of healthy vision.