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You might have heard about having 20/20 vision, but you may not fully know what it means or how it came about. You might even be unaware that other vision ratios exist. One myth that you might have believed is that having a 20/20 vision means you have perfect vision.

If your optometrist has said this to you or anyone you know, that is just his way of referring to your ocular awareness.

Ocular awareness is the clarity of your eyesight. If you have high ocular awareness, you can see objects clearly from far away. The reverse is true for those with low ocular awareness. 20/20 vision measures how well your eyes can see an object 20 feet away. To see at this distance means you have normal vision- the average eyesight.

Measuring ocular awareness

This measurement is based on a chart called the Snellen Eye Chart. It comprises 11 lines of block letters of varying sizes, from large to relatively small ones. The further down you see the letters, mainly to the eighth line in the chart, the closer you are to having a 20/20 vision.

Your doctor will also use the ocular awareness test to check for your eye coordination, eye focus, colour recognition, depth perception, and peripheral awareness.

Variations of 20/20 vision

Here are three variations of 20/20 vision:


This is considered a higher or better vision than 20/20. A person with this vision level can see things even 15 feet away.


At this level, you can read the headlines in a newspaper or the time on an alarm clock that is about 10 feet away.


When you have this level of vision, you need some serious glasses and would most likely be considered legally blind, meaning you can only see the letters on a stop sign.

Knowing your vision ratio will help you decide if you need special eye care and how to get the best option for you. For more information and an accurate reading of your vision levels, stop by our office and we would be more than glad to assist you.