Most people assume that having 20/20 vision is what you may call as the perfect vision. But what exactly does having 20/20 vision mean? How clear is one’s sight if he or she has 20/20 vision? Is laser eye treatment an option to guarantee that you can actually achieve this level of visual acuity?
20/20 is actually the standard measurement of how well one sees in the distance. The first 20 is the measurement of the testing distance in feet because the letter chart that a patient reads is measured at 20 feet away while the second 20 is the actual distance that the “normal” person sees the size letter at. Basically, it means that if you can see the second 20 at 20 feet, then you have a visual acuity of 20/20. In metric units, this is converted to 6/6 as the testing distance is measured at 6 meters.
Another example: if you were given a vision of 20/40, then it means that the testing distance is still at 20 feet and that you can see the size letter at 40 as compared to the “normal” person who can see the size letter of 40 at 20 feet away which is double the testing distance. While you can still see clearly, it still is not quite as good as having 20/20 vision because you can only make out images from 20 feet away, hence the 20/40 vision.
Don’t worry if you have a vision of 20/40 because there are certain examinations that you will still pass with that certain degree of visual acuity. A regular driving license exam, for example, has a standard of 20/40 or better, with both eyes open. Those driving commercial or heavy vehicles though, should have a visual acuity of 20/30, with both eyes open. Drivers who can achieve this visual acuity with eyeglasses should wear theirs when driving. Commercial pilots, on the other hand, are required to have 20/20 vision, among other things.
With this in mind, there are many reasons why having 20/20 sight after having laser eye treatment is considered successful. In Wagoner, M.D., et.al’s recent study, approximately 94% of people who have undergone laser eye treatment achieve 20/20 vision or even better and almost 100% of them can see the 20/30 line of letters. Suffice it to say, it can be assumed that a huge percentage of people can drive safely without the need to wear glasses once they’ve had laser eye treatment.
Now, if you already have a vision of 20/20 even before undergoing laser eye treatment, you might end up having to wear eyeglasses once you’ve had the surgery. This is often caused by an under-correction or over-correction to your vision that leaves you with residual prescription. If you’ve had surgery and are not satisfied with the results, you can always opt for a second eye treatment to have your vision improved.
While laser eye treatment is successful for most people, you will still have to weigh the risks and benefits because having eye surgery is not a joke. Should you decide that the benefits are greater than the risks, they laser eye treatment just might be the right option for you.