Learn to read your eyeglass prescription

It is definitely not possible to read a doctor’s prescription for the simple fact that it is not always legible. But in certain cases, even when it is legible, one can never understand what each medical abbreviation means. The notations and terms sound like a foreign language that we are not familiar with. In general, we accept what the doctor tells us and follow the suggestions instead of trying to figure out the prescription.

The same goes for our eyeglass prescriptions. If the doctor says that he needs to wear glasses, he gets his opinion and prescription and takes it to the opticians who provide him with the required prescription glasses. However, there are many people who are eager to read and know what their vision status really is and what power of glasses they should buy, before passing the paper to the optician.

For these, a simple line of what the recipe would look like. Placing an example OS means +1.00 DS; OD is -2.00 – 0.50 x 180; ADD refers to +1.75 O. Surely a layman cannot understand what these terms mean. Doctors are understood to use Latin abbreviations when writing prescriptions for eyeglasses.

Speaking in Latin terms, OD stands for ‘oculus dexter’, which refers to the right eye. Oculus sinister or OS means the left eye. If you find OU, then your doctor refers to both eyes. Now, do you understand how to decipher the numbers that precede these abbreviations? Simple, here are some important tips.

Prescription glasses have many numbers by which doctors explain the state of your vision. For example, the starting number for OD is -2.00 and refers to either farsightedness or nearsightedness; the sign (-) means that the motorized lens must be negative for myopia. The (+) sign means hyperopia. If the prescription says -0.50 it refers to the power between the two eyes that are 90 degrees apart. The x180 refers to the 180 axis that shows the location of the positive meridian of the eye.

Let’s take the rest of the numbers as +1.00 DS. The DS here refers to the diopter sphere, which means that the correction in the left eye is spherical in nature and has no astigmatism. The ADD number +1.75 indicates that a patient requires prescription glasses for near vision. This is a situation that is more common after the age of 40.

It should be noted that the +1.75 power should not be considered as reading glasses; instead, a little calculation must be done which would arrive at -0.25 thus -2.00 +1.75 = 0.25. In this way you would arrive at the result that the right eye will be -0.25 -0l50 x 180 and the left eye will be +1.75 +1.00 = +2.75 SD

However, simply reading and understanding what these numbers and abbreviations mean does not allow you to use your own decisions to choose the right prescription glasses. It’s always best to follow your doctor’s advice and buy your glasses from reputable manufacturers or stores, either online or at your nearest optician you know.

With many leading prescription eyewear brands, choosing the right one is always very difficult. Regardless of design and price, the most important factor to consider when buying prescription glasses is the exact power that is prescribed for your type of eye defect. If the power is not perfect, there could be many side effects like headache and so on. Also beware of fake sellers who have eyeglasses that look cool but aren’t made for over-the-counter use.

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