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How to Read your Eyeglass Prescription

When you look at your eyeglass prescription, you will see numbers next to OD and OS and also listed under Sphere, Cylinder, and Axis. OD mean right eye and OS means left eye. Sphere determines if you are nearsighted or farsighted. Cylinder measures the degree of astigmatism that you have. This number can also be a negative or a positive. Axis is a number between 0 and 180 degrees. It determines the orientation of the astigmatism.

Here is an example of a prescription with astigmatism in a nearsighted and farsighted format:
-2.00 -1.50 x 180
+1.00 -0.50 x 068

If there is no astigmatism, you often see the prescription is one of two ways
-1.00 DS
-1.00 SPH

Finally, the ADD power represents the power that needs to be added to the distance prescription to give the patient better vision at a close range. This commonly begins to develop as we reach our 40s.
Here is an example of a prescription with an ADD power:
-1.50 -1.25 x180
-2.00 -1.75 x090
ADD +1.75

Some eyeglass prescription terms:
SVD - Single vision distance
SVN - Single vision near
OD - Right eye
OS - Left eye
OU - Both eyes
Sphere - nearsighted or farsighted
Cylinder - Astigmatism
Axis - Orientation of Astigmatism
PD - Pupillary Distance (distance between your eyes)

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