We’ve all heard the term “20/20 vision” and many of us assume that it means perfect eyesight. While having 20/20 vision indicates normal visual acuity, this term does not necessarily mean that a person has perfect eyesight. In addition to 20/20 vision, binocular vision is also an important factor in maintaining proper eyesight as we age. Let’s explore what 20/20 vision is and why functioning binocular vision matters.
What is 20/20 Vision?
The term “20/20 vision” originated from the Snellen chart, which was developed by Hermann Snellen in 1862. The chart was designed to measure visual acuity based on the ability to distinguish symbols of various sizes at a fixed distance or other standard condition. The chart consists of letters, numbers or symbols of different sizes and when a person stands twenty feet away from the chart they are said to have 20/20 vision if they can correctly identify these symbols accurately. This means that they have normal visual acuity without refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. It should be noted that even though someone has 20/20 vision, their eyes may still be unhealthy due to any number of eye conditions unrelated to refractive errors.
Functioning Binocular Vision Matters
In addition to 20/20 vision, binocular vision (the ability for both eyes to work together) is also an important part of proper eye care—especially for children whose brains are still developing. Little kids don’t realize that what they’re experiencing with their eyesight isn’t normal because their brain works quickly enough so that it can adjust for any problems with their sight almost instantly without them being aware of it until later in life when their eye muscles start weakening or something else becomes noticeable during an eye exam. A number of different conditions can hamper binocular vision including amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed-eyes), convergence insufficiency (eye turns inward when focusing close up) and more. Most of these forms of binocular vision dysfunction can be treated with visual therapy or corrected with special glasses if they are diagnosed although some cases will require surgery depending on the severity and type of condition present.
Having healthy eyes as we age starts with correct diagnosis and treatment as early in life as possible—which includes not only having good visual acuity (measured via the Snellen Chart) but also functioning binocular vision which allows both our eyes to work together effectively without strain or difficulty when focusing on objects close up or far away from us! With regular comprehensive eye exams throughout our lives combined with proper diagnosis and treatment before our eye muscles start weakening, we can help ensure that we maintain clear healthy sight well into our golden years!