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what does 20/30 vision mean?

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Is 20-30 vision good? What do those numbers mean?
So, about a year and a half ago I got my vision checked at a doctor's checkup. They said I have 20-30 vision. Is that good? And what do those numbers really mean?
I used to be able to see anything from any distance. I still see pretty well. Whenever my mom drops an earning she calls me (:
But recently it's been harder to read the board. I can guess what letter I'm looking at, sometimes get it right and sometimes wrong. I just don't want to guess anymore!

One time in Spanish, I thought pom was porn.
Haha, I know.

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asked May 17, 2017 in Health by Vincent G

4 Answers

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It isn't *good* -- but it is acceptable. It is acceptable for an eye exam to drive a motor vehicle, and generally an acceptable outcome even after eye surgery of all types.

Most people think 'perfect' vision is 20/20 -- when in reality the human eye should see closer to 20/15 -- The 20/20 standard is just more a mean average of 'best correction' over an average of people.

More times than not corrected vision, especially in at least one eye is 20/15 (now better than this is rare.. but not unheard of.)

Also the 20/20 -- 20/30, 20/40 and so on measurements are just one aspect of your vision.

When someone asks how our vision is we generally refer to these measurements which are simply our visual acuity on the snellen eye chart.

Vision is much more than acuity alone. There are many people who can see 20/20 or even 20/15, but have terrible vision due to light sensitivity, glare, contrast problems, cornea disorders,.. and on and on the list goes.

But in general this measurement is a good rule of thumb to try and 'correct' vision against. It is a good measurement in *most* healthy eyes to determine what is or isn't working.

In your case,.. as a guess,.. your vision has probably deteriorated due to a small astigmatism (Basically a subtle difference in the curve of your cornea in relation to the lens) -- This will cause blurring, sometimes ghosting, some subtle variations in contrast sensitivity, color perception, and other qualities of the eye. When all combined make vision less than ideal.

As has been said, many people choose to leave 20/30 vision as is -- there are several reasons:

1) If no major symptoms are present with this measurement.. then correction isn't really indicated. It may forever stabilize at this reading.. or even (rarely) move back to 20/20 (Sometimes some minor corneal swelling, haze, dry eye, allergy, or other condition can cause temporary vision deterioration)

Further on that point.. even severe chronic computer use can push a 20/15 or 20/20 eye to 20/30 -- This is temporary,.. but for an extreme example. If Joe Blow uses his computer 12 hours a day, with little breaks, for 10 years -- he WILL develop some extreme CVS (Computer vision syndrome) which will cause tearing issues, eye strain, muscle strain (iris spams potential),.. focus issues.. and even some minor neural adaptation to the constant focus on something a few feet away that presents 3d imagery on a 2d source. ***Note this is not scientifically proven -- just theories at this juncture so don't go quoting it :) ***

CVS is general is very much proven, and the correlation with prolonged use (such as Joe Blow's case) is becoming more prevalent to cause STILL temporary eyesight problems but problems that takes considerably longer to resolve. IE: Problems that mimic other organic problems because they might take several months to full resolve (with abstinence of the computer).

Again -- so back to your vision:

2) Many leave 20/30 as is because you CAN function with it on most all levels. People don't like glasses, and contacts are a hassle any way you look at them. So they just don't bother.

3) At this minor impairment,.. the money of corrective lenses is a factor.

4) Even some still believe (and I am neutral on this stance.. ) that corrective lenses will 'weaken' the eyes over prolonged use. IE: You are 20/30 -- You correct with lenses to 20/20. In X years.. the eyes adjust to the lenses and without the lenses you are now 20/40.. whereas if you didn't correct you would still be 20/30. This is very HARD to prove either way (and if anyone definitively dictates either side is an absolute, be weary of their advice) -- Why? Because if you cannot tell the natural regression of the eye with corrective lenses. In other words.. you cannot tell if the eye would have regressed to 20/40 even if you DIDN'T correct them with lenses.

5) Looks.

6) Some want to hold off for laser surgery (do your homework on this.. read peoples stories good AND bad .. I beg of you.) -- It is of my personal opinion (and I've never had surgery on the eyes) that unless you need eye surgery for a major medical condition -- that vision corrected WELL with glasses should NOT be altered/or messed with. In other words,.. don't fix something that isn't broken.

I know it seems awesome to think you can get rid of your glasses -- but there are soooo many unhappy post lasik patients.. and some minor percentage that have worse vision after surgery -- Further a percentage that have their lasik correction 'wear off' for lack of a better term.. after so many years that the *potential* risk , imho, FAR outweighs the good.

If you can happily see very clearly with glasses -- live with any insecurty about 'frames' -- there are so many options with eye glass frames and they are so common. (I find many people look better with glasses.. really.) But if you decide to go this way one day,.. do your homework on the internet,
Your vision could further be a latent hyperopia, or myopia -- (aka: Farsightedness, or nearsightedness) -- which can cause problems.. if it is relegated to things far away (ie: the board) then Myopia (nearsightedness) is more likely. This occurs, usually, due to the physical length of the eye being longer than the optical length (which is why it presents in adolescence often).

All that summed up:

Personally -- I would go to a good local optometrist. (I would avoid an optician alone,.. I really prefer a doctor working on my eyes. No offense to you opticians.) **I think opticians are best for those with established Rx's and so on**.

Make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam. Tell them you have problems seeing the board now.. Nothing more needs to be said.

The comprehensive exam will be anywhere from 50-150$ -- Generally a bit less than $100, depending. Sometimes if you get glasses the exam is cheaper.

In your case I would bet quite a bit of money that you will have some minor astigmatism, or myopia that is easily corrected with minute glasses. (It could also be a combination of astigmatism and myopia).

In either case,.. if it were me.. and I am super cautious, I would take the glasses. I would wear them! I would enjoy the ability to see things clearly again and not think twice about it.

If you are worried about looking 'stupid' or 'dorky' with glasses -- I would first get some good frames that fit your face well (get advice from a girlfriend, even your mother.. and those at the eye shop (they should be pretty good at determining face frame to face shape.) -- You'll know when you find an agreeable frame.

Then wear them to school, and out. Your friends and others will get used to you wearing glasses in a week or two at the very most. If no big deal,.. stick with glasses.

If it REALLY bothers you -- then of course you can have some contact measurements performed and get soft contact lenses. Though, as I am conservative,.. if someone doesn't *need* contacts for correction -- I would rather they not use them. I think the eye remains in the *most* optimal health without contacts. IE: It receives 100% oxygen,.. and the tear film and nutrients are dispersed as intended. With contacts the eyes still remain healthy,.. but there is *some* reduction in oxygen levels and so forth... things that are just unavoidable due to a lens being in contact with your cornea.

So get to your Optometrist asap.. and have that 20/30 moved to 20/20 or 20/15 (whatever your best correction is).

Take care,
answered May 17, 2017 by Joshua
0 votes
What does it mean to have 20/30 vision?
Its not quite as good as 20/20. So 20/20 means at 20 feet you can see what a normal person would see at 20 feet. 20/15 vision means that at 20 feet you can see what a normal person would be able to see at 15 feet. Meaning you can be 5 feet further away than they can.

20/30 vision means at 20 feet you can see what a normal person would be able to see at 30 feet. Meaning you need to be 10 feet closer to see what a normal person would.

I have 20/80 vision so at 20 feet I can see what a normal person would be able to see at 80 feet. So my vision is terrible.
answered May 17, 2017 by Andy Hayes
0 votes
What does the term "20/30 vision" mean?
Someone with "20/30 vision" stands 20 feet from a reading chart but sees letters and objects that people with normal vision see 30 feet away from the chart, according to the University of Iowa. The first number, 20, is the distance from the eye chart and the second number, 30, shows the size of the letters read at that distance.
A patient with 20/30 vision may need corrective lenses to see properly. The University of Iowa also explains that about 35 percent of Americans have 20/20 vision, meaning they see things normally. Having 20/20 vision describes someone who has sharp, clear vision at a distance. The American Optometric Association explains that other factors including depth perception, peripheral vision and color discernment determine a person's overall seeing ability.
The ability to see from a certain distance is measured by an eye chart hanging on a wall. The chart has 11 rows of letters, with a large "E" at the top. A patient able to read the "E" and nothing else on the chart has 20/200 vision, according to All About Vision. Having 20/200 vision is the definition of legal blindness in the United States. Drivers of vehicles need to have at least 20/40 visual acuity with corrective lenses. The line of 20/20 vision is the fourth row from the bottom of the chart. If a person can read the very bottom line of the chart, that person has 20/5 vision.
answered May 17, 2017 by Emma
0 votes
What does 20/20 or 20/30 etc. mean?
Can someone please explain to me what 20/20 means or 20/30, 20/15 etc. I'm not sure I fully understand what the numbers represent? I've just always heard that 20/20 is perfect vision and I've always known I obviously don't have it. Please explain what it means in reference to one eye or 2 eyes and how you can tell what you are by viewing a eye Dr.'s chart etc.
answered May 17, 2017 by Elizabeth
20/20 is what as known as perfect vision and the vision chairt is based on feet from object. When getting an eye exam you stand behind a line which is 10' to 20' in length. WHen you have 20/20 vision it means you can read a sentence from 20 feet away and therfore have 20/20 vision (with both eyes). If you have 20/40 vision, it means that when you stand 20 feet away from the chart you can see what a normal human can see when standing 40 feet from the chart. That is, if there is a normal person standing 40 feet away from the chart and you are standing only 20 feet away from it, you and the normal person can see the same detail.
20/100 means that when you stand 20 feet from the chart you can see what a normal person standing 100 feet away can see. 20/200 is the cutoff for legal blindness in the United States. The higher the number the worse your eyes are

You can also have vision that is better than the norm. A person with 20/10 vision can see at 20 feet what a normal person can see when standing 10 feet away from the chart.

Hope that helps...and yes I stayed at a holiday inn last night.

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