The term 20/20 is used to rate visual acuity (meaning your clarity or sharpness of vision) at a distance of 20 feet. So if you can see clearly at that distance, then you have 20/20 vision. But … is this considered perfect?
If you have 20/20 vision, it’s not necessarily considered perfect. This number only reflects your clarity of vision at 20 feet. Someone could have 20/100 vision, which means that you must be as close as 20 feet to be able to see what person sees clearly at 100 feet. And really, in addition to this number, there are other factors that weigh into your overall visual ability.
Here are some other important visual skills that contribute to your overall ability to see well:
Peripheral awareness (side vision): This part of vision occurs outside the very center of gaze. In other words, peripheral awareness is the ability to see action or objects that are not in your direct line of vision.
Eye coordination: This is the coordinated control of eye movement with hand movement — the processing of visual input to guide reaching and grasping along with the use of proprioception of the hands to guide the eyes.
Depth perception: This is the ability to perceive the relative distance of objects in one’s visual field.
Focusing ability: This is the ability of the eye to change its focus from distant to near objects (and vice versa). It’s achieved by the eye lens changing its shape.
Color vision: This is the ability of an eye to distinguish objects based on the wavelengths (or frequencies) of the light they reflect, emit, or transmit.
Along with visual ability are a few conditions that feature some of the aforementioned skills, but are missing others. In some situations, an individual might be able to see well at a distance, but can’t bring objects that are nearer into focus. This is called hyperopia (farsightedness). And others are the opposite: they see items that are close very well, but can’t see items that are far away. This is called myopia (nearsightedness).
If you would like to see if you have 20/20 vision or if you have a concern about your visual acuity, it’s best to get a comprehensive eye examination by a doctor of optometry. Your optometrist may prescribe glasses, contact lenses, or even a vision therapy program that will help you improve your vision.
But before you get an exam or glasses, you’ll want to explore vision plans to see how to save hundreds of dollars. Check out individual or family vision insurance plans or call 800.785.0699 where vision plan experts can help you find what you need.