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How Do I Find My Glasses Prescription

Od Vs Os: One For Each Eye

How To Find Out Your Current Prescription? |

Eye doctors use the abbreviations OD and OS to denote your right and left eyes.

Your eye doctor may give you a paper prescription that looks something like this.

  • OD is your right eye. OD is short for oculus dexter, the Latin phrase for right eye.

  • OS is your left eye. OS is short for oculus sinister, Latin for left eye.

Your vision prescription may also have a column labeled “OU.” This is the abbreviation for oculus uterque, which means “both eyes” in Latin.

These abbreviated terms are common on prescriptions for glasses, contact lenses and eye medicines, but some doctors and clinics have opted to modernize their eye prescriptions by using RE and LE instead of OD and OS.

The information for your right eye always comes before the information for your left eye . Eye doctors write prescriptions this way because, when they face you, they see your right eye on their left and your left eye on their right .

Trouble translating your glasses prescription?
Reading your eyeglass prescription can feel like reading a foreign language written in math!If you’re trying to order new glasses online and struggling to translate your prescription correctly, ask your eye doctor or optician to help. today!

What Does Axis Mean

Axis refers to the lens meridian with no cylindrical power to correct astigmatism. The axis is labeled as a number from 1 to 180.

If a prescription includes cylinder power, it must be followed by an axis. The axis value is often preceded by an x when written in freehand.

The axis is always exactly 90 degrees away from the meridian, which contains all of the correcting lens power for astigmatism.

Do You Need A New Prescription

If you think you need a new prescription, visit the optometrist soon. Signs that you need a new prescription include blurry vision, tired eyes and the inability to see items up close. You also might need a new prescription if your glasses are scratched or hard to clean. Get your new prescription, so you can see clearly once again.

Request an appointment here: or call Bright Eyes Optometry at for an appointment in our Mt Vernon office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

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How Often Should I Update My Glasses Prescription

If you wear glasses, you need to update your prescription from time to time. An updated prescription will allow you to see clearly. Some people require a new prescription every year. Others only need a new prescription every two to three years. Learn the signs you should look for, so you will know when to visit the optometrist and get a new prescription.

Cannot See Items Up Close

Eyeglasses Size Guide

Many people get reading glasses when they age. When the glasses are on, people can easily see items that are up close. A new prescription is needed when people can no longer see items up close. People will notice they move objects away from them when looking. This allows the eyes to focus. Once the prescription is updated, these people will not have to move items away to see them.

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Common Layouts Of Prescriptions

Below are examples of prescriptions. The first set are standard – look through these to get a feel. Its mostly handwritten prescriptions that cause problems but typed ones are generally easier to understand. For each prescription, we also included how it would appear when adding it to our website.

At the end of the page are examples of unusual cases you may encounter, with instructions for what to do. Skip straight to the more unusual items.

This is a standard NHS prescription:

It would be written as follows:

Whats A Magnetic Card

Cards with magnetic strips are generally the size of a standard credit card. These include gift cards, debit cards, and some ID and transit cards.

GlassesUSA describes using a magnetic card to take certain measurements and images for the scanning app.

We suggest using something without identifying markings and without account information on it.

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Download The Glassesusa App

  • From its website. Open up the GlassesUSA website on your computer. Towards the bottom of the homepage theres a download app prompt where you can request the app link.
  • From the app store. You can also download the GlassesUSA app directly through the app store on your phone. Its available for both iOS and Android.

How Often Should You See Your Eye Doctor

How To Measure Your PD (Pupillary Distance) |

The American Optometric Association recommends that you have an eye exam at least every 2 years if youre under 60 and every year if youre over 60.

Its important to have your vision and eye health checked regularly because some serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma, dont have noticeable early symptoms.

An eye doctor can test your eyes and detect changes early, which may prevent vision loss. The tests are quick and painless, and can also help detect the following eye conditions:

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What Does Prism Mean

Prism refers to the amount of prismatic power needed to correct eye alignment problems, measured in prism diopters. This number is followed by the base direction, or thickest edge, of the prism.

This is only present if your eyes do not focus well together as a pair, such as in strabismus .

This number will appear as a decimal or fraction , followed by two letters indicating the base direction:

  • BU stands for “base up.”
  • BD stands for “base down.”
  • BI stands for “base in.”
  • BO stands for “base out.”

What To Know About Nearsighted Prescriptions

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a common refractive disorder. If youre nearsighted, you can see objects that are close clearly, but objects that are farther away will look blurry.

With nearsightedness, your eye is usually elongated, with too much distance between the cornea at the front of your eye and the retina at the back of your eye. Nearsightedness can also happen if the cornea of your eye is too curved.

Due to this increased distance, light rays fall in front of your retina instead of on it. This can cause your distance vision to be fuzzy.

The lenses in your eyeglasses will correct the bend in the light and help you see distant objects more clearly.

For a nearsighted prescription, the strength of the lenses will be marked with a minus sign. The more nearsighted you are, the higher the numbers will be.

For instance, a lens prescription of -5.00 is a stronger prescription than -2.00. The strength of the lenses can vary for each eye.

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Add Vs Powers For Readers

Some people think the ADD number is the power needed for over-the-counter reading glasses , but it’s not the same thing.

To get the right number, you need to do a little math.

To find the right reading glasses, add the sphere number to the ADD number.

In the above example, for the right eye, this would be -2.00 and +1.75, which equals -0.25. For the left eye, add +1.00 and +1.75 to get +2.75.

Next, look at the cylinder measurement and the axis measurement.

In the example, the correct number for the right eye is -0.25 -0.50 x 180 while the correct number for the left eye is simply +2.75.

The example was chosen to show the difference between nearsighted and farsighted prescriptions. For most people, the numbers are usually similar in power for both eyes.

Scanning Lenses That Glassesusa Can Make

Buy Prescription Safety Glasses RX

Next, I borrowed a pair of eyeglasses from my son, whos nearsighted and has a simple prescription that fits within the GlassesUSA range. This range is for single vision prescriptions between -6.00 to +3.00 and cylinder up to -2.50.

Next, I go over the steps I took with his glasses, using the GlassesUSA app.

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What To Do Once Youve Got Your Eye Prescription

Once youve got your glasses prescription on hand, now the shopping can commence. Whether youre looking to replace a broken pair or just adding another option into your daily rotation, Shinolas first-ever original eyewear features three frames crafted in the same meticulous and thoughtful way our watches are. Designed in-house and made in the USA with premium imported materials, these frames are sure to be the ones you go reaching for again and again. From the custom hardware to the riveted hinges, every last detail is signature Shinola. Theres the Rambler, assertive and sporty. The Bixby, ultra-flattering on any face with vintage details and a keyhole bridge. And the Runwell. Like its namesake, its a classic.

Special Features On My Prescription

You may also find additional information on your glasses prescription such as the suggestion of certain types of lens coating and special comments from your optometrist.

1. Lens designs on a prescription indicate your eyesight requirement, detailing the lens design and function . Occasionally, youll see a specific brand of progressive or single vision lens written on the prescription itself. This is most often a recommendation based on a brand the doctors office carries. If you have questions about anything on your prescription, feel free to give a call to our customer service team.

2. Vision enhancement: a special treatment for one or both lenses used to improve vision and clarity through your glasses. You could find different options such as:

a. Anti-reflective coating: enhances clarity and concentration by allowing more light to come in and reduces reflection.

b. UV protection: to prevent your eyes from being damaged by the suns UVs, your lenses can come with special anti-UV treatment.

c. Transitions: these lenses are equipped with a technology that adjusts your glasses tint according to the light. When the sun comes up, your glasses turn into sunglasses!

d. Polarized: improved glass technology designed to filter and reduce glare. Polarized lenses offer more clarity and a sharper vision to their wearers.

e. Clip-on glasses: additional lenses that can be adjusted on top of your prescription glasses. They can be polarized and come in various formats..

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I Have A Prescription How To Read It For Different Uses

For progressive or bifocal glasses, the prescription can be read as:

For single vision distance use, the prescription can be read as:

To convert a multi-focal prescription with ADD values for single vision distance use, simply remove the ADD values. The correction for the astigmatism will not change, so the cylinder and axis will remain the same, regardless of the change in focal distance. Use the original distance PD listed in the prescription.

For single vision computer use, the prescription can be read as:

To convert a multi-focal prescription for single vision computer use, simply combine half of the Add number and the Spherical number . For example, if the Add were +2.25 and the OD-Sph was -0.50, the new OD-Sph for computer glasses would be +0.75 if the Sph were +0.25, the new Sph would be +1.50. Consequently, the Add will then become zero, the default. The correction for the astigmatism will not change, so the cylinder and axis will remain the same, regardless of the change in focal distance. Narrow the PD by 1-2 mm. If the PD of your basic prescription is 29.5/31.0, the PD for computer glasses would be 29.0/30.5 or 28.5/30.0

For single vision reading use, the prescription can be read as:

That’s it about prescriptions.

Your Glasses Prescription Explained

How to Read an Eyeglass Prescription | Eyebuydirect

Whether its on paper or digital, your eye prescription probably looks like a small grid or chart with rows, columns, and cells. Confusingly, the chart incorporates a mix of letter abbreviations, positive and/or negative numbers, and full words.

What do they all mean? Consult our glossary below to tackle each element, then take a look at our example eye prescription chart to apply your knowledge.

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Other Options For Figuring Out Your Eyeglass Prescription

Just remember that you can request your prescription details from the office where you last had an eye exam. Theyre required to share a copy with you.

If youre looking for other options to find out your prescription based on existing glasses, there are other scanning apps like the one GlassesUSA offers.

  • Liingo RX Reader:Liingo Eyewear also has an app that you can use to get the prescription of your current glasses by downloading the app, calibrating hardware, and scanning your lenses.
  • GlassesOn app: 6over6 offers its GlassesOn app to take measurements similar to GlassesUSA Prescription Scanner to get PD and lens details.
  • Lens Scanner App:SmartBuyGlasses, an eyeglass retailer, partnered with 6over6 to offer its own version of an eyeglass scanning app.

What the Prescription Scanner app isnt for

The app doesnt accommodate:

  • strong or weak prescriptions

How To Read Your Eye Prescription

Youve gone to the optometrist, had your eye exam, and now its time to get your prescription. When you look at it, though, youre perplexedwhat do all these letters and numbers mean? How do they tell you what kind of glasses you should get?

Not to worry. Eye prescriptions can be confusing, but well explain all of their different parts so you know how to read one. Not only will it help you understand your eyewear better, it also makes for an extremely practical party trick.

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What Is The Difference Between Progressive Bifocal And Single Vision Glasses

The differences between each type of glasses are not always clear. To understand how to correctly read a prescriptions for glasses, here is an overview of the main categories of lenses that can be written on your prescription.

1. Single vision lenses: a large majority of glasses come with single vision correction. This common type of lens is generally used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or used as reading glasses.

2. Bifocal lenses: these glasses come with two vision corrections. One is on the lower part of the lens to help you read or see from near, and the other on the upper part includes a distance prescription.

3. Progressive lenses: multifocal lenses offer multiple corrections in one pair. These prescriptions have a no-line lens and offer intermediate distance vision, which can be adapted for certain specific uses, such as computer work.

What Does Cyl Mean

Acetate Optical Glasses Frame Women Brand Designer Cat Eye Prescription ...

Cylinder, abbreviated CYL, follows sphere power in your eyeglass prescription. It indicates the amount of lens power needed to correct astigmatism, measured in diopters.

If this column is blank, it means you have no astigmatism. If the number contains a minus sign , it means it is correcting nearsighted astigmatism. If the number has a plus sign or is positive , it means it is correcting farsighted astigmatism.

Astigmatism correction is not spherical. Cylindrical correction means that one meridian has no added power, while the meridian perpendicular to it has the maximum lens curvature and power added to it.

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What Do The Symbols On My Prescription Mean

+ or – Sphere

You will see a + or sign followed by a number. This is the SPHERE value. ‘+‘ means you are long-sighted. ‘‘ means you are short-sighted Sometimes you may find the + or – sign is written above the number. The sphere value is measured in dioptres , going up in steps of 0.25.Sometimes you’ll notice there is Plano, PL Infinity or 0.00, which all equal to zero. This means there is no spherical correct.

This is the additional correction required for reading. Also written as near addition, near add or NV – it is required for reading. This value is added to the sphere to calculate your near vision prescription. An ADD can range from +0.25 to +3.50. .


Cylinder number refers to the level of astigmatism and it can start as small as +/-0.25 for spectacle prescriptions. An empty box or DS means there is no astigmatism.

OS and OD

OS means left eye and OD means right eye.


Axis indicates the position of the cyl and can range between 1-180 for spectacle prescriptions.


This shows if you have a muscle imbalance in your eye and is prescribed to prevent headaches or double vision.

The prism is written in fractions and usually will have a direction. .

Measures the distance between your eyes, from the centre point of one pupil to the other.In most cases your optician will not add this to your prescription.

Other symbols

Other symbols which you may find include BAL , VA and BVD .

VA and BVD will not be required to place your order.

What To Know About Astigmatism Prescriptions

Astigmatism is an irregular curve in either the lens or the cornea of your eye. This irregular curve can bend the light that enters your eye and affect the way it hits your retina. Astigmatism can blur both near and far objects. It can also distort the images you see.

Astigmatism is not unusual. In fact, The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that 1 in 3 people have the condition.

If your astigmatism measures 1.5 diopters or more, you may need to wear prescription glasses or contact lenses to see properly. That said, if you have any amount of astigmatism, you may appreciate the extra clarity of wearing prescription eyewear.

Your prescription will indicate how severe your astigmatism is and where the irregular curve appears on your eye.

Your eyeglass prescription might also include notes from your optometrist or ophthalmologist about other features of your glasses or contacts. Your lenses might:

  • be progressive or bifocal, meaning they correct for both distance and close-up vision.
  • have an anti-reflective or anti-glare coating to reduce glare to make it easier to see at night or when working on a computer
  • be photochromic, which means they darken or lighten depending on the lighting conditions around you
  • be treated with a coating to make them more scratch-resistant

Yes. Because contact lenses sit directly on the surface of your eye, they need to have the same curves as your eye. A contact lens prescription contains measurements for:

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