Prescription Reading Guide

Friday, October 30, 2020

You just finished doing your eye check up and your ophthalmologist hands you a prescription. You look at that paper and get confused with the numbers. A prescription through which you will need to get your new eyewear on the basis of these numbers. Even though you have done this for the second time or the first time, it looks like a formula with no solution.

Here we will decode the numbers for you.

The below image is a sample of such prescriptions 


  • O.D. = oculus dexter, meaning right eye.
  • O.S. = oculus sinister, meaning left eye.
  • SPH (or Sphere) indicates the eyewear prescription power, or how strong your lenses need to be to correct your vision.
  • CYL (or Cylinder) indicates astigmatism, a condition where the cornea is irregularly shaped causing blurred or distorted vision. It also tells the lens strength needed to fix it.
  • AXIS describes the degree and direction of your astigmatism.
  • ADD is added magnifying power in the lower part of a multifocal lens. It’s used to correct presbyopia which is the inability to focus on close objects. If you need a bifocal or progressive lens, there will be an ADD.

Do remember those signs, plus (+) or a minus (-) sign. Your prescription's numbers will come with either a plus (+) or a minus (-) sign in the SPH, CYL and ADD. Mixing up the symbols will affect how you see through the lens. 

No matter what your eye sight numbers are, it's good to have your eyes examined about once a year to make sure your prescription for eyewear or contact lenses is up to date.You can contact us for  home eye-check up. Check this option here:

You can upload your prescription here, and we will deliver you your eyewear or lens according to your prescription.

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