Understanding Your Prescription

 
 
So, you have just had an eye exam and your optometrist has given you a prescription for glasses. He or she probably mentioned that you are nearsighted or farsighted, or perhaps that you have astigmatism. But what do all those numbers on your eyeglass prescription mean?
 
Below are some common terms that will help you understand your prescription better:

 

Prescription Terms

If you see a + in the box indicates that you are long sighted, this means you find it difficult to see things close to you. On the other hand, a – shows that you find it hard to see things that are far away, without glasses.
The number might be very small, such as 0.25, or large, such as 6.00. The higher the number, the stronger the prescription lenses that are required on your glasses. This can influence your choice of frames too.

This stands for the amount of astigmatism (visual distortion) that is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. If this box is empty, it means that there is no astigmatism and your eyes are perfectly spherical, like a football. If there is a low number, like 0.25, it means that your eyes are nearly round but not quite. A higher number, like 3.00 shows that your eyes are quite oval in shape.

This stands for the direction of the astigmatism, measured in degrees. The number is not related to how well you can see, but it helps the lab know what angle to position your lenses in the frame.

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