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Learn More about Prescription Glasses and Lenses

You go to your eye care professional for a checkup and end up with prescription glasses and lenses that have a specific prescription for your eyes. An eyeglass prescription is a bunch of numbers that make little or no sense. What does it mean?

Eyeglass lens prescriptions specify the parameters that the lenses will be made to treat myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia. It should contain: Your name, the doctor’s name, the date, the sphere power, cylinder power and axis, the prism power and orientation and the add power.

Unlocking the Code to Your prescription glasses and Lenses

While we can assume that you know your name, the doctor’s name and the date, the rest of the information is likely Greek or, as some of it is actually, Latin.

prescription glasses and Lenses – Sphere Power

Sphere power is the number that reflects whether you have myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness). These are measured in diopters. Lenses are made in 0.25 diopters. People with myopia will have a minus sign next to the diopter. People with hyperopia will have a plus sign.

prescription glasses and Lenses – Cylinder Power and Axis

Astigmatisms are when a person’s cornea is misshaped. Cylinder power measures the difference, in diopters, of the two meridians.

The axis value is the point of cylinder correction. Measured in the same fashion as a protractor would measure, it starts at nine o’clock on the eye and moves until the point of correction it is noted in degrees.

prescription glasses and Lenses – Prism and Orientation

Prism and orientation are usually not prescribed unless your eyes have an issue, like a misalignment.

prescription glasses and Lenses – Add Power

For people with Presbyopia, doctors may add magnifying power to the prescription for the bottom part of the lens.

You go to your eye care professional for a checkup and end up with prescription glasses and lenses that have a specific prescription for your eyes. An eyeglass prescription is a bunch of numbers that make little or no sense. What does it mean?

Eyeglass lens prescriptions specify the parameters that the lenses will be made to treat myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia. It should contain: Your name, the doctor’s name, the date, the sphere power, cylinder power and axis, the prism power and orientation and the add power.


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