How To Read Your EyeGlasses Prescription

Eyeglasses prescription often look gibberish. 

This article attempts to make a layman explanation of all the ‘alien’ words on your eyeglasses prescription and what they mean so you can create a weaker prescription to support vision training.

Reducing your eyeglass prescription is the meat and butter for effective vision training, especially if you can’t see anything without them.

Reducing the prescription of your current eyeglasses now can reduce significant amount of nearpoint stress that the overpowered glasses is providing to your eyes.

It also encourages your eye to work harder to focus and re-activates the eye muscles to do their forgotten tasks properly (since the glasses are doing everything for them).

However, to do so, you will have to know how to read your glasses prescription in order to downgrade it yourself. 




Breaking The Eyeglasses Code

A typical prescription for glasses

To learn how to read the eyeglasses prescription, you will need to understand what the symbols mean first.

At the first look, the symbol may look like foreign languages but fear not, they are actually easy to understand once you get what the ‘alien’ letters mean.

Abbreviation For The Eyes

OS - Oculus Sinister simply means left eye in Latin.  Why can professionals just use simple English....

OD - Oculus Dextrus as you had guessed means right eye in Latin. 

OU - Some prescription may contain this one which stands for oculus uterque meaning both eyes.

Thankfully, some optometrist have do away with the Latin words and use RE and LE to represent right and left eye respectively.


Abbreviation For Lens Power

Sphere (SPH) - This indicates the lens power usually in diopters.

Negative (-) sign represents nearsightedness (myopia) while positive (+) or no sign represents farsightedness (hyperopia). 


Cylinder (CYL) - This indicates the amounts of lens power needed to correct astigmatism, a condition in which your cornea or natural lens is shaped irregularity (not spherically shaped).

Negative value means nearsighted astigmatism while positive value means farsighted astigmatism.

Having nothing in this box means that you have no astigmatism or your astigmatism does not required correction.


Axis - Represents with value from 1 to 180 degrees.

This indicates the location of where the astigmatism is taking place on your lens.

With 90 corresponding to the vertical meridian and 180 corresponding to the horizontal meridian of the eye.


Add - If you are over 45, you may find a number in this section.

It indicates added magnifying power for people with presbyopia (aging vision), usually featured at the bottom of their multifocal lens.

As it is to provide additional power to focus on close distance, it is always a positive value.


Prism - Prism power measured in prism diopters (p.d. or a superscript triangle if written freehand).

Usually prescribed for uncommon eye alignment problems such as muscle imbalance between the eyes and double vision


Base - This refers to the thickest edge of the Prism, which is also the direction towards which the Prism redirects light (up, down, in, or out).

In short, where to put the prism in your glasses.

It is important to note that you can’t use your eyeglasses prescription for prescribing contact lenses.

It doesn’t include all the information needed for fitting a contact lens properly.

Therefore. a contact lens prescription should only be obtained through a contact lens consultation. 




Using The Eyeglasses Prescription

So what's the use of learning how to read eyeglasses prescription?

After finishing your eye exam, your optometrist is legally obligated to give you a copy of your new glasses prescription.

This is so that you can choose to buy eyeglasses from them or other vendors while using the prescription.

This means that you don’t have to buy an expensive pair of glasses from your optometrist and source for the best deals since there are so many stores that sell overpriced frames.

Secondly, this is extremely helpful if you are doing vision training. Sad to say but not many optometrist support vision training.

Therefore, you can still get a weaker glasses elsewhere without the permission of your optometrist. 


Improve Eyesight Naturally

It is a sad thing to see how many parents are accepting bad eyesight as a norm for children nowadays.

We are brainwashed into believing that the only way to tackle this issue is by prescription lens or LASIK

Now we know that while using of prescription lens will result in your eyesight worsen eventually and LASIK may have serious permanent side effects such as corneal damage and total blindness. 

You can always opt for the safer and more cost effective way using eye exercises.

Eye exercises are serials of flexing and relaxing routines designed to improve your eyesight and let them recover their natural vision.

There are no risk involved and the programs involved are of low cost.

Do some eye yoga and eye relaxation exercises and feel their immediate effect.

You will love it. ^_^


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