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How To Read Prescription For Glasses

What Does Axis Mean On My Glasses Prescription

How to Read an Eyeglass Prescription | Eyebuydirect

The axis number on your prescription tells your optician which direction they must position any cylindrical power in your lenses .

This number shows the orientation or angle in degrees from 1 to 180. The number 90 means vertical position and 180 horizontal. A higher number for the axis doesnt mean that your prescription is stronger it just describes the position of the astigmatism.

An Example Eye Prescription Chart

Still confused? Let’s look at an example prescription chart:


In the right eye , the eye doctor prescribed:

  • -2.00 D sphere for the correction of nearsightedness.

  • No cylinder power or axis, which means no astigmatism is present. This doctor chose to write “SPH,” to confirm the right eye is being prescribed only spherical power. Some doctors will add “DS” for “diopters sphere” and others will leave it blank.

The left eye was prescribed:

  • -1.00 D sphere for nearsightedness correction.

  • -0.50 D cylinder for the correction of astigmatism.

  • A cylinder power with an axis at the 180 meridian. This means that the horizontal meridian of the eye has no added power for astigmatism and the vertical meridian gets the added -0.50 D from the cylinder column.

Both eyes were prescribed:

  • An “add power” of +2.00 D for the correction of presbyopia.

  • Prismatic correction of 0.5 prism diopter in each eye. In the right eye, the prism is base down in the left eye, it’s base up .

Your eye doctor may also write specific lens recommendations on your eyeglass prescription. They might suggest anti-reflective coating, and/or progressive lenses to give you the most comfortable vision correction possible.

What To Do If Your Glasses Break

First, determine which part of your glasses is broken and the degree of damage. Did a screw come loose, or is it something more severe, like a broken piece of the frame? Analyzing the extent of the break will help determine whether its a quick fix or a more complex problem in need of professional attention.

If youre considering fixing the glasses yourself, you should know that youre always taking a risk. DIY methods are unreliable and can even worsen the damage. So, its important to do your research before attempting anything. In most circumstances, we recommend replacing your damaged frames completely or visiting an optician to assess the problem.

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Here Is The Full Numbers Breakdown:

  • SPH: Prescription spherical correction ranges between 0.00 and +/- 20.00. The farther away from 0 your prescription is, the stronger the lenses are made to correct vision problems.

  • Cylinder: For this astigmatism value, the value will usually be between +/-0.25 to +/-4.00. These numbers tell eye care specialists how cylindrical your lenses should be to which focuses light into a line instead of a point.

  • Axis: For this additional astigmatism value, the value ranges between 1 and 180. The vertical position is represented by the value 90 while the horizontal position is represented by the value of 180.

  • Add: The additional reading number will range between +0.75 and +3.00. Both eyes will usually require the same value in any set of prescription eyewear.

  • PD: Pupillary distance for the average adult ranges between 54-74 mm. For kids its between 43-58 mm. This lets vision care specialists know where to place the correcting features on your eyeglass lenses.

  • Prism: This value may go up to 10 and be measured in prism dioptres or in a superscript triangle if the prescription is written by hand.

  • Base: The direction of the prism will be represented here by the base. Either up, down, in or out.

What Do The Abbreviations On My Glasses Prescription Mean

How to Read an Eyeglass Prescription

If youve ever had an eye exam, and your doctor has determined that you will need vision correction, they may have mentioned that you have astigmatism, nearsightedness , or farsightedness .

They probably gave you an eyeglasses prescription that looks something like this:

These are all crucial pieces of information when it comes time to get your eyewear. . But what exactly do all these abbreviations and numbers mean?

Well break down your prescription step-by-step. Youll know exactly how to read your glasses prescription, and what your prescription means by the end of this article.

Where to Buy Glasses + Contacts

Best Place to Buy Contacts: 1800 Contacts

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Can I Wear My Reading Glasses All The Time

Yes, you can, but wearing reading glasses could make it a struggle to focus on objects that are farther away. If you want to keep your reading glasses on all the time, you might want to look for a pair of half-rimmed reading glasses. Then you can peek above the glasses when you want to see something at a distance.

Making Sense Of Your Eye Prescription Chart

The numbers on your eyeglass prescription relate to the shape of your eyes and strength of your vision. They can help you figure out whether you have nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism and to what degree.

If you know what to look for, you can make sense of the numbers and abbreviations on your prescription chart.

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What Does Cyl Mean In A Prescription

CYL, or cylinder, refers to the amount of astigmatism correction you need.

Similar to SPH, optometrists measure CYL in increments of 0.25 diopters.

If nothing appears in your CYL column, you do not require astigmatism correction. However, if you have a CYL value, you must have a corresponding Axis value.

How Do Eye Doctors Determine Your Prescription

Understanding Your Prescription – How to Read It | SportRx

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will test for things like colour blindness, ocular motility , depth perception, and more. The portion of your eye exam that determines your prescription is a refraction test.

During a refraction, the optometrist places a device called a phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a variety of lens choices. They will ask you which of two lenses is clearer. Based on your answers, the eye doctor will continue to refine the lens power until they are able to determine your exact eyeglass prescription.

The refraction determines your level of farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism and more.

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What Does Cyl Mean

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.

How To Repair Glasses Hinges And Nose Pads

When working on mending broken glasses, two other common questions often arise: how to fix broken nose pads and how to fix a broken glasses hinge.

Luckily, both fixes arent too complicated if the hinge or nose pad just needs tightening. A standard glasses repair kit will have everything you need to make these repairsincluding a tiny screwdriver, screws, and a carrying case.

You can use these tools to tighten the screws located in the hinges and nose pads and even replace a nose pad completely if you have suitable spares.

However, if either of these parts needs more work than a simple adjustment, thenyou guessed ityou should take your glasses to an optician.

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Demystifying Your Eyeglass Prescription

Most of the time you will find that your eyeglass prescription is written in a grid-like format. It will contain terms, abbreviations, and numbers.

Along the left-hand side, you might see these abbreviations. Here is what those abbreviations mean:

O.D.- This is oculus dexter, meaning right eye.

O.S.- This is oculus sinister, meaning left eye.

O.U.- This is oculus uterque, meaning both eyes.

Along the top, you might see different verbiage that generally has to do with measurements related to different aspects of your vision.

SPH- This is short for sphere, and basically tells you how powerful your prescription needs to be in order to correct your vision

If you happen to see the letters ADD, this is how much more power you need if you are getting bifocals or progressive lenses.

CYL- This is short for cylinder. If you see this, this indicates astigmatism. This is a condition where the cornea is irregularly shaped and causes blurred or distorted vision. It also tells the lens strength needed to fix it.

AXIS- This describes the direction and degree of your astigmatism.

ADD- This is the added magnifying power you need in the lower part of a multi-focal lens. Its used to correct presbyopia .

How Do You Read Your Eye Prescription

how to read a glasses prescription pd  Ascharters

In its simplest form, a prescription for glasses will feature a table with two rows and three columns.

The two rows refer to your right and left eyes with the right eye always on the upper row.

The three columns refer to Sphere , Cylinder and Axis.

Sphere, also known as degree or power, is the amount of single vision correction you need. CYL is the amount of astigmatism correction you need, and Axis determines the lens angle required to correct your astigmatism.

If you require progressive lenses, your prescription will display a value under the ADD column.

In addition, most prescriptions will show your pupillary distance , the horizontal distance between your pupils.

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How To Read Prescription For Glasses: An Ultimate Guide

When you cannot understand even a single number on your eye prescriptions, it turns out to be quite difficult while acquiring glasses on the Internet.

Don’t rush to give up! If you are searching for a solution, look no further than our website.

Once you reach our simplest explanation on how to read prescriptions for glasses, we’re sure you will be able to figure out all meanings hidden behind the tricky numbers and abbreviations.

How Do I Read My Glasses Prescription

Once you understand the sections of your glasses prescription, youll be able to figure out what all those numbers mean.

If you see a , it indicates nearsightedness. If you see a +, it indicated farsightedness. If you notice an Add power, it means you require magnifying lenses, such as progressives.

When youre buying glasses online, all you need to do is make sure the numbers on your prescription match the numbers in the prescription field on your screen.

In the sample below, the right eye is prescribed -2.50 sphere to correct nearsighted vision. This eye needs a cylinder of -0.75 and an axis of 173 to correct astigmatism, and an ADD power of +2.25 to correct near vision. The ADD value is usually present in a multifocal prescription.

The left eye is prescribed with a sphere of -3.00 to correct nearsighted. This eye needs a cylinder of -1.00 and 004 to correct astigmatism, and an ADD power of +2.25 to correct near vision. Without the ADD value, it is a single vision prescription.

This is the correct way to include the numbers on our website for glasses:

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How To Read An Eye Prescription

You will find that getting a separate eye prescription will give you more options when choosing glasses. For this reason, you should know how to read eye prescription. In the previous section, we showed you some of the abbreviations that are used on the prescription.

You can determine the weakness of your eyes by how far away from zero the number is on your prescription. The farther away, your eyesight will need more correction, which means a stronger prescription. If you are farsighted, the allocated number will have a plus sign. If you are nearsighted, the allocated number will have a minus sign. Included will also be the distance between the centers of the pupils, which is the pupillary distance . See below for an example.

How Often Should You Get An Eye Exam

Convert Bifocal Prescription to Reading Glasses Prescription

If you dont have any medical issues that affect your vision, you should have a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years.

Children should have their first eye exam when they are around six months old, and then another just before they start school. This ensures that they can see clearly in class poor vision can seriously impact a childs learning

Also Check: What Strength Glasses Do I Need

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Broken Glasses

Many optical shops can fix a broken pair of frames for a reasonable price, but the amount can vary depending on the specific situation and what needs to be repaired. The simplest eyeglass repairs shouldnt run you more than $50. But in some cases, the frames or lenses wont be salvageable and will have to be replaced, increasing the cost.

The cost of replacing your frames or lenses depends on several factors, including your vision insurance coverage and whether you need specialized lenses or coatings.

But theres good news: If your Warby Parker glasses break or sustain damage within 30 days of receipt, well help you get a free replacement. After 30 days, we offer free adjustments and nose pad or screw replacements.

What Does Cyl Mean For Glasses

CYL is a common sign that doctors or eye specialists often attach to their eye prescriptions. The complete form of cyl is the cylinder. The meaning of the cyl eye prescription is tracing the amount of lens power that is needed for astigmatism. It works to ensure the sphere power that you will find on an eyeglass prescription.

CYL means Cylinder

Again, you can see the number mentioned in the cylinder column that contains a minus sign or a plus sign. Here, minus is for cure nearsighted astigmatism, and plus is for cure farsighted astigmatism

If you didnt find any number in the column section on the prescription that means you dont have astigmatism. However, it is often defined that the patient has very little sufferer of astigmatism.

Along with these, the term cylinder also defines the lens power added to correct astigmatism. It isnt spherical. But the period is shaped and well-engineered so that one meridian doesnt belong to any added curvature.

The meridian perpendicular here stands for correct and correct astigmatism. Then, How does it work? The meridian perpendicular had no added power. This power will include maximum power and lens curvature.

Meanwhile, the meridian of the eyes is worked by superimposing a protector scale on the eyes front surfaces. .

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Examples Of Glasses Prescription

The myopia prescription will display a number with a minus sign in the “sphere” box. This means that your lenses will be corrected to improve the invisible distance.

Prescriptions for people with hyperopia problems will display numbers with a plus sign in the “sphere” box. In layman’s terms, this means that your lenses are reading glasses.

If you have astigmatism, there will be a number in the “Cylindrical” column of the prescription indicating the lens power required to correct the astigmatism. When correcting for astigmatism, there will also be a number in the “Axis” column.

Multifocal prescriptions will contain ADD values, sometimes marked as NV. This represents the strength required for the near prescription in the lens.

What Do The Numbers On My Prescription Mean

Reading Your Eyeglass Prescription

Your prescription may include the following: SPH, CYL, Axis, ADD and Pupillary Distance .

The first four parameters have to do with your visual correction. PD is a crucial measurement we need to make your glasses.

Heres the meaning behind each of these letters and numbers on your glasses prescription:

1. OD oculus dexter indicates your right eyes parameters.

2. OS oculus sinister shows your left eyes parameters.

3. SPHsphere indicates the amount of lens power prescribed for nearsighted or farsighted vision. It is measured in diopter and uses for farsightedness and for nearsightedness .

4. CYL & AXIS: a Cylinder and Axis number are required to correct Astigmatism. Both parameters will be required together.

5. ADD: provides magnifying power for reading, bifocal, multifocal and progressive lenses. You will most likely have the same number for both eyes that usually ranges between +0.75 and +3.00. Occasionally, lower add powers than +0.75 can be found on a prescription. These are for Anti-Fatigue lenses such as our SightRelax lenses.

There is a separate prescription for your right eye and your left eye. Most of the time, OD and OS are indicated on the left of your prescription and the following numbers show each eyes specific needs. Some glasses prescriptions also include additional numbers such as:

6. Prism: measured in prismatic diopter . It is required when eye alignment needs assistance. It is indicated as follows:

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Does It Get Better Over Time

Myopia runs in families and will probably start in childhood. Multifocal lens and eye drops such as atropine, pirenzepine gel, or cyclopentolate can help slow the progression. Your eyes usually stops changing after your teenage years, but not always. The incidents of myopia have been rising at an alarming rate in recent years. If you notice changes in your vision, get your eyes checked. See your eye doctor every year.

How To Read Prescription Glasses Related To Multifocal Lenses

ADD is the strong magnifying power that you can apply to the bottom part of Bifocal, multifocal and progressive lenses to correct presbyopia. The amount in this prescription category is always in plus value. It varies from +0.75 to +3.00 D. Remember, that is similar for both eyes.

A small proportion of prescriptions for eyeglasses constitute a prism. Its value usually prescribes displaced images in a specific path for patients having Strabismus or crossed-eye. They may also have trouble focusing or eye muscle disorders.

The amount of prismatic power is in prism diopters . Your optician can also write it as a superscript triangle that compensates for eye alignment difficulties.

How to read prism prescriptions?

The prismatic power does not have or signs. In the case of the prism presence, the base direction of the prism also gets depicted. Otherwise, it is nil or blank.

Shortened words for prism direction include:

BD = base down

BI = base in

BO = base out .

You may have both vertical and horizontal prisms.

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