If your optometrist diagnoses you with a refractive error during your eye exam and you decide you want eyeglasses, you’ll receive a prescription for your new eyewear at your appointment. Your prescription will have a lot of numbers on it, and you may be wondering what they mean. In today’s article, we’ll explain how to understand your eyeglasses prescription.
OD and OS
OD and OS stand for the Latin terms oculus dexter (right eye) and oculus sinister (left eye), respectively. Your prescription may also have a column labeled OU, which stands for oculus uterque (both eyes). On the prescription, the information for the right eye comes before the information for the left eye.
Sphere or SPH indicates the lens power needed correct your vision problem. If the number under this heading has a plus sign, then you are farsighted; if it has a minus sign then you are nearsighted. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your eye doctor.
Cylinder indicates the lens power the optometrist prescribed for astigmatism. If there’s no number in this column then you have little to no astigmatism. The number in the cylinder column may also be preceded by a minus sign or a plus sign. This indicates whether you have nearsighted astigmatism or farsighted astigmatism.
This describes the lens meridian that contains no cylinder power to correct astigmatism, and it is defined with a number from 1 to 180. If your prescription includes cylinder power, then it must also have an axis value.
If you have presbyopia, then your prescription will include this section, which indicates the added magnifying power that’s applied to the bottom part of multifocal lenses. The number appearing in this section of the prescription is always plus power, even if your eye doctor didn’t write down the plus sign.
This indicates the amount of prismatic power prescribed to compensate for eye alignment issues. This is measured in prism diopters or p.d. Only a small percentage of eyeglasses prescriptions include a prism heading.
Six One Six Vision Center offers a wide range of beautiful and stylish eyeglasses for our patients. We offer eyeglasses with designer emblems, composite materials, multi-colored inlays and more. Our design experts can help you choose the perfect eyeglasses for your lifestyle, appearance and personal taste. We serve patients from many areas in Idaho including Eagle and Meridian. Call us at (208) 514-1858 to make an appointment. You can also contact us here.