Updated on  February 5, 2024
5 min read

20/25 Vision: Understanding What It Means

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What is 20/25 Vision?

Having 20/25 vision means your eyesight is slightly outside the range of normal vision (20/20). Although 20/25 vision isn’t bad, it’s not as good as 20/20 vision or normal visual acuity. You may need corrective lenses with a low prescription.

Eye doctors will look at other aspects to determine how well you see. These include eye coordination and depth perception. 

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Is 20/25 Vision Bad?

No, it’s not bad. However, you should take into account two aspects:

1. Visual Acuity

If you have 20/25 vision, you have trouble seeing items at a farther distance than the average person. For example, objects that are clear to someone from 25 feet are clear to you at 20 feet instead. This vision problem can be easily solved with prescription glasses. 

2. Standard Vision

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

For you to hold an unrestricted driver’s license, most states require a 20/40 vision or better. Legal blindness is 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.

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

Although 20/25 vision is only one line away from 20/20 vision on the eye chart, it’s still worse. When you have 20/20 vision, you can see what an average person can read on an eye chart from 20 feet away. On the other hand, people with 20/25 vision will have to move five feet closer to read the same letters.

Vision acuity is important. But, it’s not the only component that defines overall vision ability. 20/20 vision reflects the sharpness of vision at a specific distance.

Eye doctors also consider other vision skills, such as:

  • Peripheral vision (side vision)
  • Eye coordination
  • Depth perception

What is Visual Acuity?

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

Different factors can affect your visual acuity. Refractive errors are common causes of blurred vision. They include: 

graphic comparing normal vision, myopia refractive error, and hyperopia refractive error

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 a vision therapy program. 

Although 20/25 vision is still manageable, there are instances where you may need to correct your vision. These include:

  • Occupational reasons
  • Underlying health conditions
  • Old age

Your eye doctor may also recommend LASIK surgery. LASIK corrects myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.

Is LASIK better than glasses for 20/25 Vision?

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

Speed and Safety

This safe and effective refractive surgery is an outpatient procedure. It usually takes less than 25 minutes. If your eye makes any sudden movement, the machine has an automatic shut-down function to ensure safety. 

Quicker Results

You can enjoy clear vision within a day after 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 laser surgery like LASIK can lead to excellent vision for a long time. You may not need corrective lenses like eyeglasses or contact lenses for most day-to-day activities. 

It’s always important to consult your eye care specialist. Other factors or an underlying eye disease could contribute to poor vision, and additional treatment may be necessary.

What Does 20/20 Vision Mean?

Doctors consider 20/20 vision normal visual acuity. However, while some believe that 20/20 vision is the same as perfect vision, it’s not.

A person can have 20/15 vision and show sharper visual acuity than the average population. But, eye doctors typically consider it the standard or normal vision.

Doctors typically measure this using a Snellen Chart, a common vision chart used in eye clinics.

Is 20/20 Vision Common?

In the United States, approximately 35% of all adults have 20/20 vision.6 Visual acuity can worsen because of aging or other eye-related conditions. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a comprehensive eye exam by age 40.2 

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

What is the Snellen chart?

The Snellen chart often shows 11 rows of capital letters. As you go down each row, the number of letters increases while their size decreases. 

Here’s how eye doctors use the Snellen chart to measure visual acuity:

  1. They position you at a specific distance from the chart
  2. You cover one eye and read each row of letters out loud
  3. You continue reading aloud until the smallest line you can see clearly
  4. Then, you switch to the other eye
  5. Your answers help your doctor assess your degree of visual acuity
Snellen Eye chart


20/25 vision isn’t bad, it’s just slightly below normal vision. Having 20/25 vision means you must be 5 feet closer to an object to see it as clearly as someone with 20/20 vision.

About 35% of adults have 20/20 vision, which is considered average. 20/20 vision isn’t the sharpest level of vision. Some people have 20/15 vision.

Your eye doctor will measure your visual acuity with a Snellen chart. You may get a low prescription for glasses or contact lenses if you have 20/25 vision.

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Updated on  February 5, 2024
6 sources cited
Updated on  February 5, 2024
  1. Vimont, C. “All About the Eye Chart.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2022.

  2. Rauch, K. “Perfect Vision? 20 Tips to Keep It That Way.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2020.

  3. Types of Refractive Errors.” National Eye Institute, n.d.

  4. Visual Acuity Test.” Mount Sinai Health System, n.d.

  5. Visual Acuity.” American Optometric Association, n.d.

  6. Vimont, C. “What Does 20/20 Vision Mean?” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2022.

The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.