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What is ‘20/20’ vision?

Written by Mr Alexander Ionides, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

18 November 2020
  • The 20/20 simply refers to the reading chart
  • Can perfect vision be guaranteed with laser eye surgery?

Many people consider ‘20/20’ vision to be perfect vision. The 20/20 simply refers to the reading chart that opticians and eye surgeons use to measure vision. The 20/20 line is towards the bottom of the chart, and is the level required to pass most occupational tests like those needed to become a pilot. In England we use the metric system. As 20 feet is roughly the same as 6 meters, we call 20/20 vision 6/6 vision.

Can you guarantee perfect vision with laser eye surgery?

The vast majority of people undergoing laser eye surgery will enjoy 6/6 vision or better. That said, it depends on what your vision was like prior to laser eye surgery, and also what your prescription is.

Short-sighted people who are -6.00 or less are more likely to be 6/6 or better after a single laser vision correction treatment. Most people with higher prescriptions also get to the 6/6 level after a single treatment, but enhancement treatments are more likely to be required for stronger prescriptions. Overall, less than 5% of patients treated at Moorfields Private need an enhancement treatment.

These second treatments are low-risk and are normally performed three to six months after the initial treatment. There are no guarantees in any medical procedure. Only odds of success. The good news for laser vision correction is that most patients see at least what they saw in soft contact lenses after treatment, and sometimes better. If you start out being able to see 6/6 in glasses, the chances are you will finish with at least this level of vision after laser vision correction.

Results from implant-based techniques, such as ICL (Implantable Contact Lenses), are also very good. Our surgeons will discuss which technique is most suitable for you, and advise you if there are any special areas of your eye health that might affect your vision after treatment.

The benefits of choosing Moorfields Private Eye Hospital

You can trust in Moorfields Private for laser eye surgery excellence. We deliver the best quality of care, with the most experienced surgeons and state-of the art equipment that is frequently upgraded to deliver the best results. All our consultants hold accredited consultant positions at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. You can choose your preferred consultant surgeon for your laser eye surgery, who will oversee every step of your treatment plan, from you initial consultation to your follow-appointments, for complete continuity.

Moorfields Private Eye Hospital and Covid-19: Keeping our patients and staff safe

We know some patients are feeling anxious about coming in for their appointments at the moment, but we want to reassure you with the measures we have put in place to help protect you. Moorfields Private is in a unique position as Moorfields Eye Hospital has been open for emergencies and sight saving eye care throughout the entire covid-19 pandemic. This experience has given Moorfields Private a wealth of knowledge around how best to protect patients and staff in these challenging times, while continuing to deliver world-leading eye care.

Further information about our safety measures can be found here.

If you are considering having laser eye surgery but have some questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our enquiry team will be happy to help with any concerns and your consultant will advise on the right procedure based on your needs.

To find out more visit our laser treatment & vision correction page or contact Moorfields Private’s New Patient Enquiry Line on Freephone: 0800 328 3421 Email: moorfieldsprivate.enquiries@nhs.net

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