Ophthalmology & Optometry/Do I need glasses?

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Question
Hello, I'm 17 and my last eye exam was just a simple distance exam at my last checkup about 6 or 7 months ago. I tested at 20/20, as I always have, but even before that I've noticed disturbances in my vision, especially now. Before the check up, I noticed only slight blurriness in my right eye occasionally. Now, that blurriness has increased. My friend suggested I have an astigmatism. I took multiple tests online (I know, I know. Those aren't incredibly accurate), and my distance vision was always 20/20 although most of the letters on the screen were blurred (but readable) through my right eye. But when I took the astigmatism tests (the ones with the straight black lines), oh boy those were bad. My left eye would always be normal, and my right would see all the lines in different shades and thickness in every test. And when I would do the pin hole test and place the pin hole in front of my right eye, the lines were crystal clear, and the letters on the distance chart were no longer blurry. So why do I keep testing at 20/20? Even though my vision is "20/20" could I still need glasses? I don't want to go all the way to an eye doctor appointment just for them to tell me that my vision is 20/20 and send me home. Thanks so much in advance!

Answer
Hello Krissy,
20/20 is just a letter size, and it is 'normal' and expected to be able to see that size letter.  It doesn't mean perfect or you couldn't do better.  it can be easy or hard to see, it can be fast or slow to make it out.  It's like saying can you move a boulder.  some can do it fast, others not, some slow.  It sounds like your good eye could do it easily and you other slowly with difficulty.  so it could be a mild astigmatism and if glasses are used should make the two eyes equally good. We expect your two eyes to be able to see equally well and be synchronized using any needed glasses.  the pinhole does tend to prove your eye's health is fine, and it is just an optical issue.  so you could choose to use it or not; no need to use it if you see fine in the real world with both eyes open but since you've noticed a problem you should get it checked and discuss when or whether to use glasses.  Good job with all the online research, too bad you can't prescribe glasses to yourself yet.
Best,
Mitch Axelrod,OD

Ophthalmology & Optometry

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Mitchell Axelrod

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions about eye exam findings and procedures, glasses and contact lens types/prescriptions/problems. I can also answer questions about general eye conditions/diseases. I do not answer questions concerning surgical techniques/procedures. Please state your age or within a small range when asking questions, as it is often important.

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Optometrist 19 yrs.

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Optometry, cum laude; Residency in Ocular Disease

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