How to Read Your Prescription

If you want to order eyeglasses online, it is very important to understand your prescription. 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.

How to read the prescription written by doctors? Let's read it together.

 

 

  • Standard Single Vision Prescription

    Spectacle Rx

     

    OD

    OS

    SPH

    -3.00

    -2.50

    CYL

    -1.05

    -1.00

    AXIS

    102

    90

    PRISM

     

     

    BASE

     

     

    PD: 63

    Remarks

    This is the most common format with clearly printed fields for OD, OS, SPH, CYL, AXIS and PD, Sphere (SPH) and Cylinder (CYL) always have a (+) or (-) sign.

    PD can be written in different ways: e.g. 63(Single PD), 32/31 (Dual PD), or 63/60 (Distance PD/Near PD).

  • Vertical Single Vision Prescription


    Unlike typical Rx formats, with values going from left to right, the vertical Rx values are listed top to bottom.

  • Progressive / Bifocal Prescription

    Rx

    SPH

    CYL

    AXIS

    DV

    OD

    -3.00

    -1.50

    102

    OS

    -2.50

    -1.00

    90

    NV

    OD

    +2.25

    ADD

    OS

    +2.25

    PD  62

    Remarks

    1) For multi-focal glasses, as well as reading and computer glasses, your Rx will include an ADD or NV value. This number always has a (+) sign.

    2) The type of Rx glasses may be noted on a prescription, such as DV [Distance Vision/nearsightedness] and NV [Near Vision/reading].

    Below is also the free-form prescription handwritten by doctor.
    Pasted Image

  • Prescription with Prism and Base

    RX

    OD

    OS

    Remarks

    SPH

    +2.00

    +1.50

    CYL

    -1.50

    -1.00

    AXIS

    130

    50

    PRISM

    1

    2

    BASE

    BO

    BI

    The less common prism Rx refers to the amount of prismatic power needed to compensate for eye alignment issues. The prism Rx must have two values: PRISM & BASE. BO means Base Out, BI means Base In, BU means Base Up and BD (or BDn) means Base Down.

What do all these letters and numbers mean?

There are many different ways that an eyeglasses prescription can be printed, but they will all have the same basic information.

  • R (OD) & L (OS)

    OD = right eye
    OS = left eye

  • SPH

    Spherical power indicates the amount of lens strength, with positive values (+) indicating farsighted and negative values (-) indicating nearsighted.

  • ADD

    The added lens power is for presbyopia and is an additional strength for your lens for reading or upclose work.

  • CYL and AXIS

    Numbers of corrections required for astigmatism. CYL or cylinder is the degree of how flat your eye is. Axis is the position, in degrees, corresponding to the degree of astigmatism

  • PD

    The interpupillary distance is the distance between the centers of the pupils of the eyes.  How To Measure Your PD By Yourself?

  • Prism and Base

    Prism is the amount of prismatic power, measured in prism diopters. Base Direction indicates where the thickest edge of the prism will be.

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