Have you ever SEEN YOUR BEST?
If you’ve read our blogs, you’ve seen this diagram before: what it means is that 20/20 (where your eye doctor likely stops an eye exam) is not necessarily your best vision! Twenty feet is the distance at which light becomes parallel (indiscernible as diverging) and the standard size for normal vision. Do you know your “vision score”? Have you ever experienced your best vision? If you can achieve better than 20/20 acuity you’d only ever know if it is tested. The way to test for this is amazingly simple: the doctor or staff asks you to guess at all letters, record how many you got right, add more power for distance prescription (in the phoropter), ask you to guess the letters again, and if you can achieve more continue the process randomizing the characters checking before and after and increasing difficulty until you cannot achieve better resolution. Refraction is a science and an art, but it shouldn’t be done based on pure subjectivity…
Some worry that this is the same as over-prescribing that can cause eyestrain, headaches, and difficulty reading among other problems including a bifocal prescription sooner in life. Ironically, testing for the best corrected vision is the best way to avoid such misdiagnoses. Eye doctors that don’t have the capability or are not willing to check your best vision will start and finish an eye exam with questions of subjectivity: “…are these letters blurry?” and “…does it look better now, how about now?”. It should be as objective as possible: “what are the absolute smallest letters you can read without squinting?” and “now that I’ve put more power at distance in the machine, please read the small print?” If they can resolve more small letters, then the vision can be better, and if the patient cannot then the best vision has been achieved.
If you you haven’t had an eye exam where your best vision was demonstrated, how do you know what your best is? And if you have had an eye exam where they asked subjectively if it looked clear or blurry, how do you know if you aren’t over-prescribed. The answer is: YOU DON’T! You are relying on the professionalism and scientific fortitude of the doctor. Unfortunately, the norm is 20/happy rather than 20/wow. Perfect vision is your best achievable vision, and everyone free of eye disease should see at least 20/20 normal. At 4Sight iCare, our doctors are passionate about individualized prescriptions that empower people with their absolute best vision.