Visual acuity and visual satisfaction

12 August 2009
Volume 10, Issue 3

Does a good level of clinical distance visual acuity bring subjective satisfaction with the visual experience?


The aim of this concise study was to assess whether the attainment of a good level of clinical distance visual acuity (VA) was commensurate with subjective satisfaction with the visual experience. A group of healthy young adult myopic habitual spectacle wearers were each invited to rate their recent subjective distance visual experience using a single-item visual analogue scale (VAS). Each participant’s binocular spectacle VA was then determined at 6m using a high-contrast logMAR letter chart. Finally, individuals were questioned (tick-box choice: ‘No’, ‘Yes’, ‘Not Sure’) as to the possibility of their needing a distance spectacle prescription change at their next routine sight test. The results recorded by these well-sighted spectacle wearers indicated that no clinical or statistically significant (P = 0.1) association was evident between subjective rating of recent visual experience and the level of VA. Similarly, the subjective opinion as to whether or not a distance spectacle prescription revision would be necessary in the near future was not statistically significantly associated with the VAS score (P = 0.4), and was also of doubtful clinical or statistical (P = 0.04) association with the habitually good acuity level recorded by these subjects. We conclude that when patients record a habitual distance VA on or better than the ‘0.0’ logMAR chart line the subjective criterion of visual satisfaction – whether recorded in terms of the recent visual experience or the perceived necessity for a spectacle prescription change in the near future – is uniformly good.

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