If you’re diagnosed with a refractive error during your eye examination, your eye doctor will give you a prescription. Ever wonder what the letters and numbers in the prescription mean? Today, we explain.
What Do the Abbreviations Mean?
On the left side of the prescription, you’ll typically read “O.S.,” which refers to your left eye, or “O.D.,” which refers to your right eye. There may be additional letters at the top, which refer to the measurements of your vision. SPH is short for “sphere.” This indicates your lens prescription power or how strong your lenses must be to help improve your eyesight. ADD indicates that added magnification power is supplemented in the lens to accommodate presbyopia.
CYL means “cylinder,” which is indicative of whether or not you have astigmatism, a refractive error marked by an irregularly shaped cornea, resulting in distorted or blurred vision. AXIS describes the direction and degree of astigmatism. If you have any questions about what the letters mean, don’t hesitate to ask your eye care specialists.
Are Eyeglass Prescriptions and Contact Lens Prescriptions the Same?
No, they are not. If your eye care services provider gives you a prescription for your eyeglasses, you cannot use the information there to buy contact lenses. There is specific information needed for contact lenses that can only be obtained through an actual contact lens exam and fitting. The same goes for eyeglasses.
For example, during an eyeglass consultation, your doctor will measure the ideal distance from your eyes to the lenses. This particular aspect is not evaluated during a contact lens exam since contact lenses are worn directly on your eyes.
To learn more about lens prescriptions, call Vision Care Plus at (844) 201-5900 or complete our form. We serve Drayton Valley, Camrose and nearby AB areas.