20/20 in 2020

There is no end to the predictions about what may happen in or by the year 2020.

From routine economic recessions and the futuristic introduction of flying taxis, to biofuels becoming competitive with fossil fuels and robotic moon bases (no surprise thanks to Japan), whatever happens, it looks like it is sure to be one heck of a year.

All this goes to say you definitely want to be around to see it. And, if you can, not just be around, but be able to see it in full, clear and vibrant HD quality — directly, not from behind glasses or contact lenses.

Thankfully, as the world is evolving and technology advancing, it has already become possible to not just see clearly, but to do so without the need of relying on pesky and costly external aids.

For this reason, along with all the other predictions, 2020 is sure to be the year that hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, across the globe achieve the much desired 20:20 vision.

For many people who have poor vision, achieving 20:20 vision without glasses or contacts is but a dream. And until just a few years ago, that’s all it would ever be.

But as we move into 2020, this dream is now becoming very much a reality for people with a wide range of visual conditions, from nearsightedness and longsightedness to astigmatism and even presbyopia — the natural ageing of the eye.

20:20 vision and 2020 the year are no longer a far off fantasy that lay somewhere out there in the distant future. They’re right on our doorstep.

With that in mind, let’s now discover what all the fuss is about, look at what your chances of seeing 20:20 may be, and take a peek at a few developments the year may bring for the world of Laser Eye Surgery.

What is 20:20 vision?

20:20 is a phrase that comes from the most common means optometrists use to measure visual acuity (the clarity of sharpness of your vision): the Snellen Chart.

Using the Snellen Chart, optometrists get a general idea of your quality of vision and how you stand up to the rest of the population. To perform the test, they sit you down opposite the black and white chart at a distance of twenty feet or six metres and then ask you to read the ever-smaller lines of letters.

The distance for undergoing the Snellen chart is always twenty feet. And so the measurement is always preceded by the number ’20’. By having a standardised unit, eye doctors have a common guideline for assessing quality and comparing vision across masses of people.

So, what exactly does 20:20 mean? If you have 20:20 vision, it means the smallest line of symbols you can read on the chart is the one marked ‘normal’ acuity. This is the standard an average person can see at twenty feet.

If your vision isn’t quite good enough to read this line, you may have a measurement such as 20:40 or 20:100. 20:100 would mean you can only see at twenty feet what a person with normal vision is able to see at a distance of one hundred feet.

What are your chances of seeing 20:20 in 2020?

For most people, the chances of seeing 20:20 are very high. However, there are a number of individual factors that can affect your chances.

The first factor is the clinic. Each clinic has its own technology and level of expertise — information which they should provide to you before your treatment — which will influence your chances of achieving 20:20. Many clinics report results that show 95 percent or more patients have 20/20 vision (or better) after Laser Eye Surgery.

The second factor is your prescription and general eye health. For instance, if you have a very high-profile prescription, it may be more difficult for you to achieve 20:20. Some clinics do specialise in treatments for very high prescriptions and conditions such as thinner corneas, so again, it depends on the clinic you choose.

What does 2020 have in store for Laser Eye Surgery?

2020 will be a big year for advancements in many fields. So, as a treatment grounded in technology, what does it have in store for Laser Eye Surgery?

One of the latest and greatest innovations in Laser Eye Surgery is the femtosecond laser. A femtosecond laser produces an ultra-fine beam of light to access the corneal bed, instead of cutting a corneal flap like in LASIK surgery.

The laser produces extremely short pulses of energy, each lasting only 220 “femtoseconds”. To put that into context, a femtosecond is equal to 10-15 seconds. That’s 0.000000000000001 seconds.

The most advanced femtosecond laser, which we use at London Vision Clinic, is the Carl Zeiss Meditec VisuMax. The laser doesn’t increase pressure inside the eye and so you feel nothing during treatment.

The femtosecond is a relatively new invention and it is only a matter of time before it will be more commonly used. For instance, a prime example of the femtosecond laser at work is in the ReLEx SMILE treatment.

In SMILE, the Visumax laser is used to make a series of tiny pulses and an interconnecting tunnel in the outer layer of the cornea. Compared to other methods of treatment, the procedure takes much less time to perform, the recovery period is considerably shorter, and experience is more comfortable, and people with conditions such as thinner corneas can have it.

Another area worth mentioning is the treatment of presbyopia, in particular, PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision. Although it was introduced in 2011, many people still believe presbyopia, the natural ageing of the eye that affects close up vision, is a sentence for reading glasses. By 2020, more people will be aware that they can be free from reading glasses for many years, simply by undergoing a quick and safe procedure such as PRESBYOND®.

Is 2020 the year you’re going to achieve 20:20 vision? Find out more or book your initial, complementary consultation today by getting in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators.