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All posts by Dr. Rebecca Anidjar

2020 Vision

What Does 20/20 Vision Mean?

Have you ever wondered what it means when someone says you have “20/20 vision”? You’re definitely not alone! This is one of the most common questions we get asked on a daily basis, so I’ll explain what it means.

20/20 vision is  a common term used to describe normal visual acuity or clarity of vision. It is determined by testing a person’s vision at a distance of 20 feet away from a visual target of a specific size. So if someone has 20/20 vision, it means that they are able to see a specific target 20 feet away in the distance.

 

How does your eye doctor determine if you have 20/20 vision?

Ever notice those strange mirrors and projectors in the eye exam room? They’re not for wacky decoration! These mirrors are used to “extend” the length of the room to simulate a distance of 20 feet for this type of vision testing. The instruments project the eye chart onto a wall and then the image is bounced off mirrors to be visible directly in front of you. This makes things seem 20 feet away, rather than the actual length of the exam room (which is usually only ten feet long).

 

Objects Closer than they Appear

It is important to have regular eye check ups even if you feel your vision is good or if you think you are not having difficulty seeing. Most eye diseases begin with little or no visual symptoms at all, so waiting until something feels wrong can have consequences on your vision health. The earlier your eye doctor is able to detect these problems, the better the outcome will be – and the better the chances of your eyes remaining healthy. A regular eye exam can also give your eye doctor insight into your overall systemic health, and a comprehensive eye exam can pick up health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia, stroke, and brain lesions. So while it may feel like no big deal to skip that annual eye exam, make sure to keep your appointment and get checked out. Don’t neglect your eyes – they can be the first line of defense for disease detection!

Focus Chart 20/20 Vision

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The Light Spectrum and Blue Light

Digital Eye Strain: Your Smartphone and Bad Blue Light

Have you wondered if computers, tablets, or smart phones can damage your eyes?

New research suggests that extended use of digital devices like smart phones increases our exposure to “Bad Blue Light” that can be harmful to our eyes.

What is Bad Blue Light?

Blue light wavelengths between 415-455 nanometers – a wavelength range found to be detrimental to our eyes. Sources that emit higher portions of “Bad Blue Light” include Daylight, Cool White LED screens, and Compact Fluorescent light bulbs. High-resolution computer screens and smart phones have been found to emit up to 30% blue light.

Exposure to Bad Blue Light

A study by the American Association of Optometry explored the relevance of this to our current lifestyles. It found that 67% of adults spend more than 7 hours a day on their computer or cell phone, and 65% of people reported experiencing symptoms of digital eyestrain.

Most surprising was that the study found the most vulnerable age group is children. Nowadays, children are exposed to digital devices from a much earlier age than previous generations. However, young children have not yet built up the natural crystalline lens pigment that would otherwise help protect them from blue light damage.

Blue Light Filters and Digital Devices

How can you help reduce your exposure to blue light?

Blue light filters.

New lenses have been specially designed to block these harmful wavelengths from entering the eye and causing damage. These filters are especially useful for people who spend their workday in front of a computer or who experience eyestrain from using digital devices for extended periods of time.

The Balance of Blue Light Exposure

Interestingly, other studies have found that some level of blue light wavelength absorption is important to regulating our circadian (sleep/wake) cycle; what that exact level is still being studied. Therefore, we should aim for a balance of how much blue light we expose ourselves to and protect ourselves from excessive and prolonged exposure that is proven to be harmful.

In the meanwhile, computer-users should stick to regular eye exams to help prevent and manage any eye conditions.

Want recommendations to fit your lifestyle? Book an eye exam and we can help ensure you’re on the path to eye health.

Blue light infographic

Image: Essilor Canada

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