Can Any Laser Eye Surgeon Guarantee 20/20 Vision?
When you think of good vision, the chances are a couple of numbers will pop into your head. Have you guessed which numbers we’re talking about? You have no doubt heard a friend, family member, or simply someone off the telly brag about their 20/20 vision, right?
But, while many of us have heard of these numbers, we may not all know what ’20/20′ actually means?
20/20 vision has become the renowned standard of visual acuity. We all know that this standard is considered to be pretty darn good, but what do these numbers refer to? Let’s find out.
The concept behind 20/20 vision is pretty simple. It basically means that you can see at a distance of 20 feet what ‘normal-sighted’ people can also see at a distance of 20 feet. Essentially, you are also classed as ‘normal-sighted’.
For comparison, then, let’s consider 20/100 vision. This means that you can see clearly from 20 feet away what normal-sighted people can see from 100 feet away; not so good.
These measurements are determined using the Snellen Chart – that’s the familiar letter chart you will have tried out at the opticians’ office. Each line of letters on the Snellen Chart gets progressively smaller. Our score on this chart – that is, how low we can get down the letter sizes with clarity – helps opticians to determine our level of vision.
The many millions of Snellen Chart results have also helped us to identify the ‘normal’ level of sight among the population.
Depending on where you were born or raised – or whether you prefer the metric or imperial system of measurement – you may have also come across another term: 6/6 vision. As Dr Glenn Carp explains in the video below, this is really the same as 20/20 vision – with one small difference:
Mr. Glenn Carp answers the question: What is 20/20 or 6/6 vision?
So, now that we understand what 2020/ and 6/6 actually refer to, let’s look at these measurements in relation to Laser Eye Surgery. As 20/20 vision is considered the norm among the general population, it makes sense to make this the target result for Laser Eye Surgery.
As such, this is generally the standard your surgeon will aim for when performing your treatment. It should be pointed out, however, that this doesn’t mean you should always respect these results.
The actual results achieved through Laser Eye Surgery are dependent on a number of factors. For example, your prescription before surgery, the Laser Eye Surgery Clinic you choose, and the surgeon themself, can all affect the achievable improvement in your vision.
Why it matters to find a good Laser Eye surgeon
The best way to determine the quality of a Laser Eye Surgery clinic is through their results. Here at London Vision Clinic, we make checking our track record as easy as possible giving our patients peace of mind regarding the expertise of our surgeons.
Finding the right surgeon is not only about achieving the best possible results for your vision. The best surgeons will know the whole Laser Eye Surgery process like the back of their phoropter – from pre-operation testing to creating a dedicated aftercare programme tailored to each patient.
According to several studies that have assessed the results of Laser Eye Surgeons around the world, the average standard of vision (achieved by 95% of LASIK patients) is around 20/40 – with 85% achieving 20/20 or better. It should be noted, of course, that many specialist clinics have even better results than this.
Many patients are even able to achieve better than 20/20 vision. In fact, some patients may reach the level of 20/16 – that’s close to the human limit of 20/12!
Unfortunately, in some cases, the outcomes of Laser Eye Surgery are not as good as have been hoped for. The risk of this is increased if the operating surgeon has not had sufficient training or experience.
The unregulated nature of the Laser Eye Surgery industry means that this is always a possibility. Luckily, there are some things you can look out for to avoid running into this problem.
Ensure your chosen surgeon has a combination of the following:
- Formal refractive training, including a certificate from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists at the bare minimum, but ideally plenty of years of on-the-job training and experience.
- Experience in your specific procedure, whether it be LASIK, PRESBYOND® Laser Blended Vision, ReLEx SMILE, etc.
- Access to the best equipment to treat a wide range of prescriptions, especially yours.
- Access to the latest technology and experience using it in practice.
- High attention to detail and care: Will the surgeon only make an appearance on the day of the surgery? Or, will you be able to see and contact them after the procedure?
- A number of testimonials and reviews from past patients. These may be published on the clinic website or on independent, reliable sites such as Trustpilot.
If you make note of these tips when searching for a top-notch laser eye surgeon, you will stand the best chance of achieving the best results for your vision.