You’ve probably heard the words “vision” and “eyesight” used interchangeably. Actually, they are different things! Read on as your eye doctor from Nova Vision Clinic discusses the difference between the two terms.
When light rays enter the eye, they are reflected by the lens onto the retina. When someone has 20/20 eyesight, this means their eyes can identify a target of a certain size from a distance of 20 feet, the way a person with “normal” eyesight would identify that target from 20 feet away. However, if that image is not clear in the viewer’s eye when standing 20 feet away, they may need eyeglasses or contact lenses.
While eyesight takes place in the eyes, vision takes place in the brain. When the eyes pick up a clear image (eyesight), the brain (vision) is able to process, understand and analyze that image. Vision is how the brain filters the information delivered by the eyes.
Using vision, the brain quickly analyzes these pieces of information:
What the object is. This is what tells you the color and the details of what you see. In the case of reading, this is what helps you understand words on a page or a street sign.
Where the object is. This is how you identify how far or how close you are to the object you are looking at. For example, if you’re playing tennis, you know when to strike the ball with your racket based on its distance from you.
Where the viewer is. This is how your brain identifies where your body is relative to the position of the object or objects you are seeing. This is how you are able to drive a car or walk on a sidewalk without hitting objects or people.
It’s possible to have clear eyesight but poor vision. If this happens to your loved one, you may have to take them to a professional to identify the problem.
Nova Vision Center is an optometrist clinic ready to help if you need glasses or contacts. We also offer other services to help those with more serious eyesight problems. Call us today at (703) 578-3600 or request an appointment using this form. We help patients in Alexandria and in Arlington, VA.