Do you feel like you need special code-cracking skills when trying to decipher the information on your eyeglass prescription? Most people understand the basics of 20/20 vision. But it can be mind-boggling to comprehend the details of your eyeglass prescription and how it affects the way your eyeglasses are designed to help you achieve the desired 20/20 vision.
Today, we are breaking down the basics… giving you the key to unlocking this information. Here’s what you need to know as you are reviewing your prescription details:
Not only do you need to know what the abbreviations stand for, but you might feel the need for a translation app to understand the meaning of the Latin words that are used. We’ll make it simple by providing explanations of the common abbreviations and terms you will find in the prescription:
In addition to the terms listed above, abbreviations are also used to indicate the prescription for individual eyes (or both eyes):
The eye doctor must indicate the unique prescription for each eye because it is common for people to have variations in the clarity of their eyes. One exception is in the bifocal magnifying power for presbyopia, which is typically the same for both eyes.
In addition to the terms listed above, sometimes there are unique terms on the eyeglass prescription. If a patient has double vision, lazy eye, or other alignment issues, then Prism and Base are used to indicate the prismatic power needed in the lens. Only a small percentage of patients need prism, so most people don’t have this information on their prescriptions.
Prism is listed in either metric units or fractions, indicating the prismatic power required. A Base column is listed to indicate the prism direction based on the thickest edge of the base. Base abbreviations are as follows:
As a general rule of thumb, the further the number is from zero, the more vision correction is required. During the exam, the eye doctor determines the visual acuity of your eyes. Then these prescription numbers are listed in the prescription based on the vision correction needed to bring your eyes back into a normal range.
Let’s break it down a little more, with a few examples to help you see clearly. You might read something like this on your eyeglass prescription:
This prescription is for the left eye, and -1.50 means that your nearsightedness is measured at 1 and 1/2 diopters. It’s considered a mild amount of nearsightedness. SPH indicates the adjustment for spherical power, with a prismatic correction of 0.5 Base Up. The prescription will have another similar listing starting with OD for the right eye.
On the other hand, if you have a prescription that is -5.00, then it means that your nearsightedness is more pronounced, so a more powerful lens is used to help you reach 20/20 vision. Also, it is important to note that your prescription only applies to eyeglasses. Contact lenses require a different power due to the placement of the lens on the eye directly.
Unique features can be added to eyeglasses, helping to improve your overall comfort and results while wearing the glasses. These optional features are used based on your normal lifestyle and personal needs. Common additions include:
If you have questions about your prescription, then the best solution is to talk to an eye care provider in your area. At LasikPlus, we can help you find a trusted eye doctor who can help with prescriptions or other vision correction treatments, such as LASIK. Schedule an appointment or call 1.866.755.2026.
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