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What 20/20 Means

Is 20/20 Perfect Vision?

How Is Visual Acuity Measured?

How Is Impaired Vision Corrected?

Why Do I Need To See An Eyecare Provider?

How Often Do I Need To Get New Glasses?

Will I Have To Wear Eyeglasses Forever?


Progressive Lenses

What Are Progressive Lenses?

How Can I Tell If I Need Progressives?

How Long Will It Take To Get Used To Progressives?


Lens Treatments

Anti-Reflective/No-Glare Treatments

Ultraviolet (UV) Protection


Contact Lenses

Are Contact Lenses For Me?

Can I Wear Contact Lenses?

Are Contact Lenses Safe For My Eyes?

What Is The Difference Between Hard and Soft Contacts?

How Often Should I Change My Contacts?

How Long Does It Take To Adjust To Contact Lenses?

How Often Should I Change My Contacts?

What Are Multifocal Contacts?

What Types of Multifocal Contacts Are Available?

What Kind of Multifocal Contacts Should I Wear?

What Should I Expect During The Adjustment Period?

Colored Contact Lenses





What 20/20 Means  (Back To Top)

Vision that is 20/20 describes a normal level of clarity and sharpness in your vision. This is called visual acuity. This measurement offers a way to compare the quality of your vision to a professional standard. Using this tool helps us to accurately gauge whether you need corrective lenses and to diagnose eye conditions. The term 20/20 means that you can see an object clearly when it's 20 feet away from you, just like normal. If your vision is 20/100, then viewing an object from 100 feet away is too far for you but fine for others; to see it clearly, you must come within 20 feet of that object.



Is 20/20 Perfect Vision?  (Back To Top)

No, 20/20 only refers to how well you see things at a distance. Your overall visual ability depends on a number of other factors as well, such as:

  • Peripheral (side) vision
  • Depth perception
  • Eye coordination
  • Ability to focus
  • Ability to see colors



How Is Visual Acuity Measured?  (Back To Top)

Your optometry clinic has several tests that can check your visual acuity. A common test consists of a chart with letters that become smaller as you read further down the page. Each line of letters corresponds to a level of visual acuity. If the "20/20" line looks blurry to you, then you may have impaired vision.



How Is Impaired Vision Corrected?  (Back To Top)

If your impaired vision is not caused by a medical condition such as diabetes, then your eye care provider can help you determine the best choice for your case. Common options include:

  • Eyeglasses

    This traditional technique is easy, safe, practical and affordable. It can also be stylish as well.

  • Contact Lenses

    These miniature lenses rest directly on the front of your eyeball. People with an active lifestyle often favor this approach.

  • Corrective Surgery

    This offers a more permanent solution. Depending on the severity and type of your visual impairment, it will improve your eyesight, but it might not be able to give you 20/20 vision.

If you lack 20/20 vision, corrective aids can adjust your eyesight to create clearer vision. This will help keep you safe and prevent eyestrain, which can cause headaches and fatigue. Working with your eye care provider is the best way to determine whether your vision should be corrected.



Why Do I Need To See An Eye Care Provider?  (Back To Top)

Many “silent” diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetes, can only be detected through regular eye exams. When these conditions are discovered earlier rather than later, they become easier to treat or manage, allowing for better long-term preservation of eyesight.

In addition, reading glasses from the drugstore often do not work well because most people have astigmatism and/or different prescriptions in each eye. As a result, many of these individuals experience persistent eye fatigue and headaches. Forgoing the eye exam also sacrifices the opportunity to screen for treatable diseases, as mentioned above.



How Often Do I Need To Get New Eyeglasses?  (Back To Top)

This depends on a number of personal factors, such as changing needs, tastes or lifestyle, but you should visit your eye doctor at least once each year. If you notice problems with vision or headaches, then it’s best to consult your doctor right away for a full evaluation and new glasses, if needed.



Will I Have To Wear Eyeglasses Forever?  (Back To Top)

Unfortunately, you probably will unless you elect to use contact lenses or corrective laser eye surgery. The great news is that there are lens and surgical advancements in optometry everyday.


Progressive Lenses



What Are Progressive Lenses?  (Back To Top)

These eyeglasses combine two or more prescriptions into one pair of glasses to correct vision problems at different distances. Most commonly, progressives are recommended so the wearer does not have to switch between separate eye glasses for distance viewing and for reading.



How Can I Tell If I Need Progressives?  (Back To Top)

Progressive lenses are most often prescribed for presbyopia in those over age 40 and for individuals who have trouble seeing clearly both at a distance and when reading. 



How Long Will It Take To Get Used To Progressives?  (Back To Top)

As you adjust to progressive eyeglasses, you will need to learn to tilt your head or move only your eyes in order to bring the appropriate lens into the center of your visual field. For most wearers, it takes about 3 weeks to develop and use these new habits naturally. However, most people find the convenience and clear vision well worth the effort.


Lens Treatments



Anti-Reflective / No-Glare Treatment  (Back To Top)

If you often experience glare when wearing your glasses, an anti-reflective treatment may be a good choice. This lens treatment is a microscopically thin layer that prevents light from reflecting off of the front and back surfaces of your lenses. This can dramatically improve vision for night driving and may also make it more comfortable to read or use a computer. Anti-reflective treatment is especially helpful for high-index or polycarbonate lenses, which tend to reflect more light.



Ultraviolet (UV) Protection  (Back To Top)

It is just as important to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light exposure as it is your skin. UV-protective lens treatments block many of the harmful ultraviolet rays from damaging your eyes. This may reduce your risk of retinal damage, cataracts, and other eye problems. Discuss your UV protection in your next optometry exam to determine if ultraviolet light-blocking lens treatment might be appropriate for you.


Contact Lenses



Are Contact Lenses For Me?  (Back To Top)

Contact lenses are a safe and popular choice for vision correction. Whether you just found out that you need vision correction or you’ve been wearing glasses for several years, switching to contacts can be an easy, painless choice. Understanding the basics about contact lenses allows you to consult with our doctor and make the choice that is best for your lifestyle.



Can I Wear Contact Lenses?  (Back To Top)

Most people are able to wear contact lenses safely and comfortably. There are contact lenses that correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and other vision problems. An optometry exam can determine what lenses are appropriate for you.



Are Contact Lenses Safe For My Eyes?  (Back To Top)

Millions of people wear contact lenses without any difficulties. Following recommendations for inserting, removing, cleaning, storing, and replacing contacts typically keeps your eyes safe and healthy. However, you should talk to your eye doctor if you have specific concerns about contact lens safety.



What Is The Difference Between Hard and Soft Contact Lenses?  (Back To Top)

Soft contact lenses are made of plastic combined with water. Soft lenses allow oxygen to pass through the material to your cornea, nourishing and soothing the surface of your eye. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses, sometimes called “hard lenses” are made from a stiffer, oxygen-permeable material. They are often used by individuals with astigmatism or higher-order aberrations.



How Often Should I Change My Contact Lenses?  (Back To Top)

The frequency with which you should dispose of lenses depends on the contact lens type. Some lenses are made to be disposed of each night, while others may last several weeks. Talk to your eye doctor and read the instructions on your contact lens package to determine the replacement schedule for your lenses.



How Long Does It Take To Adjust To Wearing Contacts?  (Back To Top)

If you’re not used to wearing contacts, you may notice them or feel slight discomfort for a day or two. As you become accustomed to the contact lenses, you will no longer even notice that they’re there.

There are a lot of variables to consider when choosing contact lenses. Think about your typical routine and consult with your eye care provider to find the perfect contact lenses for your lifestyle.

If you find yourself struggling to see both at far distances and nearby reading materials, then it may be time to consider bifocals. Your eye care provider and the trained optometry staff will work with you to determine the best way to meet your needs while helping you to look and feel your best.



What Are Multifocal Contacts?  (Back To Top)

Multifocal contact lenses are a type of contact lens that combine two different prescriptions in the same lens. One component corrects nearsightedness and the other prescription addresses farsightedness or farsightedness. Several types of multifocal contacts are available; your eye care provider can help you determine which option is best for you.



What Types of Multifocal Contacts Are Available?  (Back To Top)

  • The reading power is in the center of the lens, and the distance (far vision) is on the outside. Or, the distance could be in the middle with the reading on the outside.
  • The distance is on the top, and the reading power is on the bottom, similar to bifocal eyeglasses. These contact lenses are weighted at the bottom to keep the reading power on the bottom.
  • The reading and distance powers blend from the outside towards the center.



What Kind of Multifocal Contacts Should I Wear?  (Back To Top)

At Modern Optometry, you'll be able to explore your options fully. Generally, several factors influence the type of multifocal contacts that are right for you, including:

  • Your age
  • Your eyeglass prescription
  • The type of work you do
  • How you use your eyes, such as looking straight ahead or looking down when you read
  • Typical lighting conditions when you read
  • Your eye shape
  • Your pupil size



What Should I Expect During The Adjustment Period?  (Back To Top)

Some people adjust quickly while others need some time. You might notice that images jump when you switch between close-up and distance vision, or you might see a ghost image when you read. You might see a halo around lights, or your vision might change when the lens moves on your eyeball. If you experience any of these quirks, talk with your eye care provider. Sometimes, these effects are part of adapting to your new corrective lenses and will go away with time. However, in some cases, you might need to try a different type of lens.

If you're having trouble seeing clearly both up-close and at far distances then bifocal contact lenses offer a convenient alternative to bifocal eyeglasses. It may take longer to adjust to bifocal contacts than to glasses, but many find that it's a worthwhile investment.



Colored Contact Lenses  (Back To Top)

Colored contact lenses allow you to temporarily change your eye color whether or not you need to correct impaired vision. In this way, you can create a more subtle eye appearance, wear a crazy design for special occasions, or just enjoy a new eye color.

Whether you have prescriptive lenses or cosmetic colored lenses, the center of the lens remains colorless to avoid affecting how you see. Only the part that covers your iris, or the colored part of your eye, contains color; that's what changes your visible eye color.

The most commonly selected colors are green, blue, hazel, violet, amethyst, gray and brown. Theatrical contact lenses can create special effects for movies and costumes to make you look like a vampire or alien. However, theatrical contact lenses are still a medical device—they should never be shared with anyone.

If you're thinking about color contact lenses, your eye care provider can help you select the right type of colored contacts depending on your eye color, quality of vision and desired appearance.