Did you ever wonder what the letters and numbers in an eyeglass prescription represent?
I found these eye facts while browsing the cheap eyeglasses under the Frequently Asked Questions at greateyeglasses.com. My youngest son was fitted with his first pair of eyeglasses at fifteen months, it was a sad and joyous occasion. It took a great deal of coaxing to convince him to actually put the glasses on his face. However, once accomplished it was as if a completely new world was exposed to him. From that point forward, he didn’t want to take them off, not even when he slept! I felt very sad about his vision problems. Sounds silly to be sad when he was so overwhelmingly happy I know. What made me sad was knowing my baby boy wasn’t physically perfect.

Even with that amount of vision experience, I still had no idea how many technical measurements were required for an eyeglass prescription. No wonder they ask so many questions! Besides, my own vision was perfect until midlife arrived, seems everything began to be blurred then.

Eyeglass prescription definitions

OD – (Oculus Dexter) = right eye
By definition, Oculus means round and Dexter on the right side
OS – (Oculus Sinister) = left eye
Similarly Sinister, on the left side
OU – (Oculi Uterque) = both eyes
In Latin it means exactly that, both eyes
PL – PLANO; a placeholder for the number zero
SPH – SPHERE power; the (total) power
DS – diopters sphere (you have sphere power only)
CYL – CYLINDER power; the amount of astigmatism correction
X – axis; X 80 or AXIS 080
ADD – the amount of power that gets added to the distance prescription (this creates your reading-only prescription) or for the lower portion of your bifocals/progressives.
NV – near-vision (your prescription is for reading only)
PD – pupillary distance (the measurement in millimeters (mm) between both pupils)
-75 = -0.75
+125 = +1.25

Eyeglass Tips

Did you know that opticians or eye doctors are required by law to provide you with your prescription?

Of course, there is a time limit on the eyeglass prescriptions because ones vision changes over time. While the doctor may offer a copy, it could be expired so be sure to ask for a copy with each new eye exam. If you intend on ordering eyeglasses online, also make sure to ask for the pupillary distance (PD) as many doctors will not give that information unless you ask.

Minor scratches on plastic eyeglass lenses may be repairable.

Use a DVD/CD repair kit, spraying the solution provided with the kit along with buffing the surface with a soft cloth. The process may need to be repeated in order to obtain the desired state of repair. Another trick that sometimes will fill a scratched plastic lens is to use the above method using Pledge furniture polish. Be aware if the scratch problem exists with the anti-reflective coating on the lens, repairs do not work.

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