Can you have better than 20/20 vision?
Dr. Lauren Dyak
LASIK candidates and patients almost always ask, “Will I be able to see 20/20 after eye surgery?” or “What is the best vision you can have?”.
The ability to see 20/20 vision is based on the anatomy of your eyes, with both genetic and environmental influences. 20/20 vision refers to “average” or “normal” eyesight, but it is definitely possible to achieve better than 20/20 vision.
- The first number in “20/20” refers to the ability to see certain size letters on an eye chart 20 feet away from the patient.
- The second number after the slash refers to what someone can see in comparison to the average person when standing 20 feet away.
- Hence, visual acuity recordings such as 20/20, 20/15, 20/40, 20/100.
What is the best vision you can have?
20/15, for instance, refers to the ability to see letters on an eye chart that is 20 feet away that the average person can see when standing 15 feet away, hence better than 20/20 vision. 20/100, on the other hand, means you have worse vision than average because you can only see what an average person would be able to make out standing 100 feet from the letters.
We expect (but can’t promise) that vision will be similar after LASIK as it was in glasses or contacts prior to LASIK. So, if you are correctable to 20/15 in glasses, it’s not unreasonable to anticipate at least the possibility of a comparable result with LASIK.
Many patients end up pleasantly surprised that their uncorrected vision after LASIK even exceeds what they could achieve with glasses prior to surgery, which is exactly what occurred for a good number of patients in our recent clinical trial.