HOW TO UNDERSTAND YOUR PRESCRIPTION
FIND YOUR PERFECT GLASSES
How to read your eye prescription so you can order your perfect glasses at ease.
1. WHAT IS IT?
If you've ever looked closely at your eyeglass prescription, you've probably wondered how to make sense of all those numbers and symbols. Some prescriptions can be written for viewing in distance, others – for reading, office or progressive lenses.
2. MOST COMMON LAYOUTS
Here's a look at a sample eyeglass prescription and a walk-through on how to read it. Below are examples of alternative prescription formats. Look through these to get a general feel, but don't worry if yours still looks different – so long it has all the essential information, you are good to go!
Each optometrist or ophthalmologist will have their own format for writing a prescription, so yours may not look exactly like the one pictured, but that's nothing to worry about. The essential information should be there, and it should always begin with your full name.
YOUR DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION
The prescription, written by your ophthalmologist in your eye clinic, will have the same information as the one written in a salon. So understanding it won’t be difficult. Follow our guide “prescription terms”.
OTHER OPTICAL STORE'S PRESCRIPTIONS
Typed prescriptions are generally quite easy to understand, it's mostly handwritten ones that cause problems.
3. PRESCRIPTION TERMS
To be easily interpreted worldwide, eyeglass prescriptions are written in a standardized format with common notations. Look below to learn more about your SPH, CYL, Axis, Prism, PD, and more.
4. HOW TO GET PRESCRIPTION?
– Register for the comprehensive eye examination at an eye clinic.
– Use the prescription you have.
How recent does my prescription have to be?
It's recommended that your eye prescription is no older than one year. Recommended intervals between eye tests vary depending on your age and health.