Ophthalmology & Optometry/6/60 vision


Hi Mitchell,
I need to have 6/60 unaided visual acuity in my right eye to pass an eyesight exam for entry into the armed forces. I am borderline (I have -3.75 myopia in that eye) and have had several sight tests to see if they help them decide but I am confused about what 6/60 means - is it just being able to read the largest letter on the chart or do I need to be to read the next line down as well, because I am sure the different opticians I have seen have done it differently? Or perhaps it depends on the chart? It definitely seems easier sometimes than others.
Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer my question.

It's unlikely you can achieve 6/60, or 20/200 unaided with a -3.75 eye.  The 6/60 or 20/200 is a system of detailing both the size of the letter as well as the test distance.  In this case, it is testing far vision not near, and is testing at 6 meters or 20 feet.  You need to see a letter that subtends a certain angle using your eye as the angle's vertex.  the letter would be referred to as a "200 foot size letter".  Anyway, the letter is 10 times as large as the 20/20 or6/6 letter, and some charts have more letter sizes than others so it isn't always the second or third line, etc.  Each row of letters will have an acuity level, and the chart will have a 'test distance' that it should be read from.  You may be able to get refractive surgery, but I doubt you'll pass otherwise unless you squint.
I hope that helps,
Mitch Axelrod, OD

Ophthalmology & Optometry

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Mitchell Axelrod


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.


Optometrist 19 yrs.

Doctor of Optometry, cum laude; Residency in Ocular Disease

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