What is 20/20 Vision? How to Convert Diopters to a 20/20 Measure

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great article! One comment:

    This paragraph:
    “Mild near sight is less than 2 diopters – you can see clearly out to 50 cm (about 20 inches) from your eyes.
    Medium degree of near sight would be between 2 and 4 diopters – you can see clearly out to between 25cm, approx 10” (4 diopters) and 50 cm. approx 20” (2 diopters).
    High degree of near sight is anything above 4 diopters.”

    Shouldn’t that read:
    Mild near sight is between 0 and minus 2 diopters – you can see clearly out to 50 cm (about 20 inches) from your eyes.
    Medium degree of near sight would be between minus 2 and minus 4 diopters – you can see clearly out to between 25cm, approx 10” (4 diopters) and 50 cm. approx 20” (2 diopters).
    High degree of near sight is anything more than minus 4 diopters.”

    Technically, the last sentence still wouldn’t be right…if we take the “minus” to mean a negative number. If so, it should actually read “less than minus 4 diopter”… But I thought that may confuse more people than it’s worth

    Best regards!

    • I get what you’re saying, but people typically only pay attention to the absolute value, for the most part. As in, they typically think in terms of higher numerals to mean a stronger prescription. You’re correct in that adding the word minus to each value would be better. It is a constant reminder that distance values are measured in negative diopters. Great point. I guess one way to think of it would be to envision a number line, with zero being ideal vision. The further you move away from zero in either direction, the worse one’s vision is…or stronger the Rx is. I know you know this already. I’m just thinking aloud. I’m a teacher, so I always default to explaining it the way a kid would understand or better visualize it. lol

  2. Excellent explanation on how to interpret eye exam results! You list all scenarios -clear and concise for all to understand.

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