How to Read My Prescription

An eyeglass prescription is an order written by an eyewear prescriber, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist, that specifies the value of all parameters the prescriber has deemed necessary to construct and/or dispense corrective lenses appropriate for a patient.

Read Prescription

Abbreviations on the prescription:

  • D.V. Abbreviation for distance vision.
  • N.V. Abbreviation for near vision.
  • O.D. Abbreviation for oculus dexter, Latin for right eye.
  • O.S. Abbreviation for oculus sinister, Latin for left eye.
  • SPH (Sphere) Refers to the amount of refractive error of the eye with a single convergent or divergent refractive power in all meridians, measured in quarters and proceeded by a (+) or (-).
  • CYL (Cylinder) Refers to astigmatic refractive error of the eye by adding or subtracting power cylindrically in a meridian specified by the prescribed axis, measured in quarters and proceeded by a (+) or (-).
  • AXIS Indicates the angle in degrees of one of two major meridians the prescribed cylindrical power is in, measured in degrees 1 to 180.
  • Addition (near) ADD Meaning Near Vision is used for multifocal or reading correction, measured in quarters. This power for bifocal or progressive lenses enlarges immediate vision and is therefore always indicated by a positive sign (+).
  • P.D. (Pupillary Distance) Refers to the distance between pupil centers, usually expressed in millimeters.