What distance 6/12 vision means and how to cure it?
What is 6/6 OR 20/20 vision?
An optometrist measures vision at a standard distance of 6 meters or 20 ft. And a normal vision is 6/6 or 20/20, which means you can see at 6 meters what a normal person also sees at 6 meters, likewise 20/20 means you can see at 20 feet what a person with normal vision can see at 20 feet. The only difference in 6/6 and 20/20 is in the unit of measurements. These measurements are called, ‘visual acuity standard’ according to the Snellen chart, given by the ophthalmologist, Snellen.
Snellen chart consists of 11 rows of letters that are used to measure visual acuity. The 11 rows of letters are in decreasing order with respect to the sizes of these block letters. The topmost rows have the biggest letters and the size of the letters keeps decreasing as you go down.
A person with visual acuity 20/200 is termed as “legally blind”; however different countries have different measurements to determine blindness. Many optometrists use an improved chart to measure visual acuity now.
What is visual acuity?
Visual acuity refers to the clarity and sharpness of vision. An optometrist measures your visual acuity with the help of a chart of letters. It is a way to examine a person’s ability to notice the small details at distance.
If you have ever had your eyes checked up, then you must have read the chart of letters against the wall, it is your eye power and visual acuity test. The patient sits at a distance of 6 meters or 20 feet away from the eye chart. If you can read the last letter without any glasses then your visual acuity is 6/6 that is normal. But if you need glasses to read it then you have poor vision. A patient may need a different number of eye corrective, for example, a person may see normally with a diopter of 0.5 while another may need 2.5D depending on the eyesight.
What distance 6/12 vision means?
Distance 6/12 vision means that you can see at a distance of 6 meters what a normal person can see at a distance of 12 meters, meaning thereby you have poor vision and need to stand closer to see the object. Similarly, 6/9 vision means a person can see at a distance of 9 meters what you see at 6 meters. You can have a better vision than 6/6, if your visual acuity test is for example 6/4 that means you can see at 4 meters what a person sees at 6 meters. However, if you have this above-average distance vision then you may find it hard to see nearer objects. Therefore, you may still need glasses for seeing near things.
Now, there is one question that arises in the patient’s mind that how much diopter lens he/she will need with 6/12 distance vision. The answer is eye power and visual acuity is two different things. You cannot determine your eye power test through this score (6/12, 6/6). Even if you have 6/6 vision that does not mean your vision is perfect. You may have other eye disorders like farsightedness and presbyopia and astigmatism. Visual acuity test only indicates if you need correction for distance vision or not.
In India, more than 60 million people acquire some kind of visual impairment. It surely affects the quality of their life. With inventions, technological advancement, visual impairments can be examined and treated for sure.
Causes of vision Impairments-
There could be several factors affecting your vision-
- Unhealthy Lifestyle- If you have an unusual sleep cycle, an unhealthy diet plan, or if your eyes are exposed to harmful light rays too often then it may cause diseases like cataracts, uncorrected refractive errors, and degeneration of eye tissues.
- Unhealthy Habits-Smoking or drinking both severely affects your eyes. If you want to keep your eyesight well in long run avoid them as it increases the chance of a cataract tenfold.
- Eye Disorders- The imbalance lifestyle is dangerous for the eyes which leads to hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia which generally are the main cause of vision impairment.
- Ageing- Is the process where the human’s body starts facing physiological and physical changes which lead to getting age-related problems like diabetes or high blood pressure which are common these days, can be a major factor in vision impairment.
Effects of 6/12 vision
6/12 vision are not that bad and you can do almost everything with glasses on. But if you aspire for a profession that requires a perfect vision then you will need surgery. In a profession like a doctor, pilot, firefighters they need a perfect vision as it includes saving others’ lives. You can’t get any vision impairment to get inhe way. Even to drive you to need a normal vision. However, in countries like Australia, people with distance 6/12 vision are allowed to drive with or without glasses but many countries do not permit it. In India, 6/6 is standard vision acuity for jobs like navy, railways, and army.
Ways to correct your 6/12 vision
- Improve Diet- A healthy diet can improve your vision naturally to an extent if examined early. If you have a 6/12 vision then you can improve it to 6/9 or even 6/6 with a healthy diet and required exercises. But it can’t be promised that your vision will improve naturally in the long term. Someone else may cure their vision naturally but need not necessary, everyone will get the benefit from it as the healing power defers and some other factors like other health issues factor may be affecting it.
- Healthy Food Habits– You can have vitamin C & vitamin E enrich food like citrus food, beetroots, oranges, and grapefruits. Add at least one egg to your breakfast meal for the essential proteins and vitamins to your eyes as well as body. Nuts, seeds, lentils are a must for a balanced diet. Omega-3 rich food like fish is also beneficial for improving vision.
- Reduce Screen time– looking at a screen for a prolonged time can be one of the major factors for vision impairment these days. To restore your normal 6/6 vision, decrease your screen time as staring at a digital screen for a long time causes eye problems like dry eyes, eye strain, headaches. To avoid all of these take several short breaks from looking at your screen and try to perform eye exercises to keep them less tired and less dry.
- Use Eyeglasses– You can always see normal with the help of eyeglasses and contact lenses. Many patients that avoid wearing spectacles when their vision is not normal have a high chance of increasing their eye power and visual acuity. If your doctor prescribed you eyeglasses take it seriously or your eyesight may suffer. Also, protect your eyes from being exposed to too much sunlight by wearing sunglasses. If your profession is related to computers then do wear anti-glare eyeglasses to protect your eyes from harmful light rays from your computer screen.
- Go for Laser eye surgery– Now there are two things to keep in mind. If your distance vision is 6/12 without eyeglasses then laser eye surgery can correct it. And if you have 6/12 vision with eyeglasses then surgery may improve it to 6/9 but there is no guarantee that you will see as per 6/6 vision. It is possible that you need glasses after the surgery too, but with less power.
Everyone’s eye power and visual acuity differ. Genetic factors also play an important role. Someone with 6/12 vision may have normal vision without eyeglasses. Although it is rare. Whereas someone with 6/6 may need eyeglasses. So 6/6 does not mean perfect vision and they may need eyeglasses. To conclude, 6/12 visual acuity does not tell anything about eye power.