Skip to main content
Full Color RGB 01
background-2132910_1280-e1544599864781
Home » News » How to Read Your Eyeglasses Prescription

How to Read Your Eyeglasses Prescription

How-to-read-eyeglasses-prescription-650x350

You just had an eye exam and your optometrist gave you a new vision prescription for eyeglasses. Problem is, you can’t make sense of it. There’s a bunch of unfamiliar acronyms and numbers. You know all those numbers relate to the lenses that you need to wear to see clearly, but what does each one mean?

The simple explanation is that those numbers refer to the lens powers you need to correct your eye’s refractive error – so you can enjoy crisp vision instead of the blurred vision you’ve had until now.

If it’s been a while since your last eye exam, contact one of our Eye Trends offices in Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, , , and , Texas, to book an appointment with our eye doctor. We want you to have a sharp view of the world, and we’ll check your visual acuity thoroughly to issue your up-to-date, precise vision prescription for eyeglasses.

A Breakdown of Your Eyeglasses Prescription

Let’s go through the significance of the letters and numbers on your prescription:

  • OS and OD: these are Latin abbreviations that stand for oculus sinister and oculus dextrus, respectively. (If your prescription also says OU, it refers to oculus uterque, for both eyes.)
  • Numbers: generally, the greater the number is away from zero, the worse your vision – and the more vision correction you need. That translates into a stronger prescription.The numbers represent diopters (sometimes abbreviated “D”), which is the standard unit for measuring the focusing power of the lens your eye requires to see clearly.
  • +/- :  if there is a plus/+ sign before the number, it means you are farsighted; if there is a minus/- sign before the number, it means you are nearsighted.
  • S x C x AXIS: if you have astigmatism, there will be three additional numbers on your prescription-
    • SPH (S) refers to the spherical part of your prescription, which is the degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness.
    • CYL (C) refers to the cylinder (the astigmatism), and it can be a positive or negative number; it measures your degree of astigmatism in diopters. The higher this number, the more astigmatism (= the more your cornea is shaped like an ellipse, instead of a globe).
    • Axis is a number from 0 – 180 that reveals the orientation of the astigmatism, describing exactly where the difference in curvature is occurring.
  • ADD: this is a correction factor for when you need a different prescription for near vision, such as for presbyopia. This number is always a plus/+.
  • PD: stands for interpupillary distance. It is a measurement of the distance between the center of one eye to the center of your other eye, and it is an important piece of information. PD ensures that your eyes match up with the optical center of your eyeglasses lenses.

People often worry when they see a major difference in the numbers for the right eye to be very different from the left eye. However, this is quite common.

Check the date on your eyeglasses prescription

There’s one more important number on your prescription - the date of issue! Now that you’re fully informed about how to read your eyeglasses prescription, it’s time to make sure you had an eye exam in the last year, and that your lenses are truly optimizing your vision. Book an annual eye exam with our eye doctors in Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, , , and , Texas, to ensure your eyeglasses prescription is accurate!


At Eye Trends, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 936-206-7366 or book an appointment online to see one of our Conroe eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

Help! My Child Doesn’t Want to Wear Glasses!

Can Parents Spot Signs of Lazy Eye?

Annual Eye Exams Are Essential for Adults & Kids

FOLLOW US:

Schedule Your Exam at One of Our 7 Convenient Locations!

Conroe

Woodlands

Spring-Louetta

Greenspoint

Grand Parkway

Southlake

Kingwood

Call Us

Conroe 936-206-7366
Woodlands 281-528-4999
Louetta 832-678-8481
Greenspoint 281-677-3993
Kirkwood 832-532-8848
Southlake 817-835-9903
Grand Parkway 281-918-8894

maps

Conroe
Louetta

Greenpoint

kirkwood

Woodland

Dr. Inns is a 1982 graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilfred Laurier University, Canada. During his training at the University of Houston, he held positions in research and was a teaching assistant / laboratory instructor.

Postgraduate work includes therapeutic courses at Pennsylvania College of Optometry and the Optometric Glaucoma Specialist Course at the University of Texas Medical School. Dr. Inns has published in Optometry Today and Optometric Management. He also volunteers at the schools in his area.

Dr. Inns and his wife, Lynn, spend much of their spare time calling and visiting with their four boys.

  • 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Closed

Amber Draper, Manager

As the manager of The Woodlands office, Amber Draper leads the team with the focus on patient care and assisting with their ophthalmic needs. Having over 10 years experience, Amber can aid patients with the most appropriate lens technology to match their daily needs. Everyone needs at least one pair of sun wear, especially here in Texas.

Amber is a proud graduate of Sam Houston State University with a BA in History, and a minor in Spanish.

In her spare time, she is with family, friends, and enjoying some Houston Texans Football.

Dr. Toups is a 1984 graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Northeast Louisiana University.

Being a therapeutically licensed optometrist, Dr. Toups is trained to diagnose and treat ocular conditions. He specializes in contact lenses and he is current with all refractive surgery procedures.

Dr. Toups is married, has five children and has lived in the Houston area since 1980.