Updated on 

May 4, 2022

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20/25 vision

What is 20/25 Vision?

20/25 vision is a measurement used by eye doctors to describe your visual acuity. Visual acuity refers to how clear or how sharp your vision is. 

Different factors can affect your visual acuity. For example, eye conditions like:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • Astigmatism (irregular curvature of the eyeball)
  • Presbyopia (age-related changes to the eye’s lens that prevent the eye from focusing on nearby objects)
graphic comparing normal vision, myopia refractive error, and hyperopia refractive error

However, if you have 20/25 vision, it does not mean you have bad eyesight or a bad prescription. To determine how well you see, eye doctors will look at other aspects. These include eye coordination and depth perception. 

What Does 20/25 Vision Mean?

If you have 20/25 vision, it means that your vision is not as good as average. In other words, objects that are clear to someone from 25 feet are only clear to you from 20 feet.

This is different from people who have 20/20 vision, which is considered normal visual acuity. 

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Is 20/25 Vision Bad?

No. It is not bad. 

Yet, you should take into account two aspects:

1. Vision acuity

If you have 20/25 vision, it means you have trouble seeing items at a farther distance compared to the average person. This could be uncomfortable for you, and eyewear could be an easy solution for this vision problem. 

2. Standard vision

Eye doctors consider 20/20 vision to be standard. When you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, you could enhance your vision to 20/20 with little effort. 

For you to hold an unrestricted driver’s license, most states require that you have a 20/40 vision or better. You are considered “legally blind” when your best-corrected vision with glasses or contacts is 20/200 or worse. You are not legally blind if your vision is better than 20/200 when you wear glasses or contacts.

Summary

A 20/25 vision is a measurement of visual acuity. This means a person is able to clearly see an object from 20 feet when the average person can see it from 25 feet. While not entirely bad, some people with a 20/25 vision feel uncomfortable and they opt to wear corrective eyewear.

Is 20/25 Vision Worse Than 20/20 Vision?

Yes. 20/25 vision is worse than 20/20 vision. 

20/25 is only one line worse than 20/20 on the eye chart. In other words, 20/25 vision is not bad and pretty close to 20/20 vision.

When you have 20/20 vision, you can see what an average person can read on an eye chart when standing 20 feet away.

If you have 20/25 vision, you can read letters that an average person sees from 25 feet at 20 feet. However, you can remedy this problem by wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses prescribed by your eye doctor. 

Vision acuity is important. But, it is not the only component that defines overall vision ability. 20/20 vision reflects sharpness of vision at a specific distance. Eye doctors also consider other vision skills, like peripheral vision (side vision), eye coordination, depth perception, and more. 

What Does 20/20 Vision Mean?

20/20 vision is considered normal visual acuity. When you have 20/20 vision, you can see what an average person can follow in an eye chart 20 feet away.  Eye doctors will use eye charts, like the Snellen Chart, to measure visual acuity.

While some believe that 20/20 vision is the same as perfect vision, it is not.  A person can have 20/15 vision and demonstrate sharper visual acuity than the average population.  

20/20 vision does not mean perfect vision. Eye doctors consider 20/20 vision as standard, or average vision.

What is the Snellen chart?

The Snellen chart is the most common eye chart used in eye clinics. It often shows 11 rows of capital letters. As you go down each row, the number of letters increases while their size decreases. 

To assess visual acuity, eye doctors will place you at a specific distance, and you'll read each row aloud. You cover one eye (e.g., the right eye) and state the smallest line of letters you can see. You will then alternate, switching over to the other eye. 

Your answers will help eye doctors understand your degree of visual acuity. They can also assess any other eye problems. 

snellen chart

 

Summary

20/20 vision is the standard vision used by eye doctors when measuring visual acuity. 20/25 vision is one line worse than a 20/20 vision in a Snellen chart. The Snellen chart is the most common tool used to assess visual acuity.

Is 20/20 Vision Common?

In the United States, approximately 35% of all adults have 20/20 vision

Nonetheless, visual acuity can worsen due to aging or other eye-related conditions. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a comprehensive eye exam by age 40. 

If you have diabetes or wear contacts, you will need vision screenings (eye tests) at an earlier age and more often. Individuals living with diabetes have an increased risk of glaucoma (optic nerve becomes damaged), cataracts (cloudy eye lens), and other vision issues. 

Do I Need Glasses to Correct 20/25 Vision?

If you have 20/25 vision, glasses may be a simple yet affordable solution to improve your sight. An eye doctor may prescribe eyewear, contact lenses, or even a vision therapy program. 

Your eye doctor may also recommend LASIK surgery. LASIK helps individuals who experience myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and other vision issues.

Summary

About 35% of the total adult population in the US have 20/20 vision. People with a 20/25 vision, on one hand, may benefit from prescription eyewear, contact lenses, a vision therapy program, or LASIK.

Is LASIK better than glasses for 20/25 Vision?

LASIK surgery may be ideal for you if you’re looking for a long-term solution. There are multiple benefits of LASIK surgery, including:

Speed and safety

This corrective procedure is done on an outpatient basis. In some cases, the surgery may take less than 25 minutes. However, despite the time factor, the laser is safe. If your eye makes any sudden movement, the machine has an automatic shut-down function to avoid any possible harm. 

Quicker results

You can enjoy clear vision soon after undergoing LASIK eye surgery. Many people who have opted for this type of surgery report a positive difference within a few hours post-surgery. 

Improved vision for longer periods

A corrective surgery like LASIK can lead to good vision for long, if not permanent, periods. In other words, you may not need to continue with eyeglasses or contact lenses to make the most of day-to-day activities. 

In any case, it is always important to consult your eye care specialist. Other factors or an underlying eye disease could be contributing to vision difficulties, and additional treatment may be necessary.

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6 Cited Research Articles
  1. “All About the Eye Chart.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 25 Feb. 2021, www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/eye-chart-facts-history.
  2. “Perfect Vision? 20 Tips to Keep It That Way.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 8 Nov. 2020, www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/tips-to-keep-perfect-vision-2020.
  3. “Types of Refractive Errors.” National Eye Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/refractive-errors/types-refractive-errors#section-id-6804.
  4. “Visual Acuity Test.” Mount Sinai Health System, www.mountsinai.org/health-library/tests/visual-acuity-test.
  5. “Visual Acuity.” AOA.org, www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/vision-and-vision-correction/visual-acuity?sso=y#:~:text=Visual%20Acuity%20is%20the%20clarity%20or%20sharpness%20of%20vision.
  6. “What Does 20/20 Vision Mean?” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 10 May 2020, www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/what-does-20-20-vision-mean.
Melody Huang is an optometrist and freelance health writer. Through her writing, Dr. Huang enjoys educating patients on how to lead healthier and happier lives. She also has an interest in Eastern medicine practices and learning about integrative medicine. When she’s not working, Dr. Huang loves reviewing new skin care products, trying interesting food recipes, or hanging with her adopted cats.
Anthony Armenta earned his B.A. in International Relations from the University of California, Irvine. After graduation, he decided to live abroad in Spain. Currently, he has spent the past 5 years working as a freelance health content writer and medical editor for different public hospitals in central Barcelona. He has covered different medical specialties from infectious diseases and pneumology to breast cancer and plastic surgery. His commitment to writing fact-driven, health-related content stems from the belief that such type of information can empower all individuals to take action and improve their health today.
https://www.visioncenter.org/author/anthony/
Author: Anthony Armenta  | UPDATED May 4, 2022
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Medical reviewer: Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.
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Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.
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The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.

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