How to Read Your Prescription

As someone who wears glasses, it's important to know how to read your prescription. Understanding the numbers and abbreviations on your prescription can help you make the best decisions about your eyewear, and ensure that you get the right lenses for your needs. Let us break it down for you.  


On paper, a lens prescription may look like this: 

OD: -1.25 -0.75 x 180

OS: -1.50 -0.50 x 175

PD: 62

Each of the numbers and letters in a prescription represent a different piece of information that is specific to you and your eyes. It may look overwhelming at first, but once you break down each set of numbers or letters, it's actually very simple to read. 


The first part of the prescription you’ll notice will be the letters OD and OS. These stand for "oculus dexter" and "oculus sinister," which translate to right eye and left eye. The right eye is OD and the left eye is OS.  

The next part of the prescription you might notice would be the + or - sign in front of the first set of letters. The + or -  will indicate your nearsightedness and farsightedness. Nearsightedness is not being able to see things up close very well, and farsightedness is not being able to see things at a distance. 

The next part of the prescription is called the sphere (SPH). This number measures the amount of nearsightedness or farsightedness you have. If the number is negative, you're nearsighted; if it's positive, you're farsighted.  

The second number is called the cylinder (CYL) which measures the amount of astigmatism , an eye defect that causes distorted vision, you have. If you have none, the number will be 0. 

The number all the way to the right of the prescription is the axis. This measures the angle of the astigmatism in degrees and ranges from 0 to 180.

The letters PD near the bottom measure the distance in millimeters between your pupils, so essentially it's just how far apart your eyes are.  


But what if you don't even know where to get a pair of prescription glasses? Luckily, your search is over. Fuse lenses offers any type of prescription you may need. We even offer prescription sunglasses and blue light lenses, all at an affordable price.


While reading your prescription may seem confusing at first, it's actually quite straightforward once you know what each number and letter represents. If you're ever unsure about what a specific abbreviation or number means, don't hesitate to ask your eye doctor or optician for clarification. This type of stuff is always important to know so you can make informed decisions about your eyewear and ensure that you get the best possible vision correction for your needs.




  • Each set of numbers and letters in your prescription is unique to you.
  • OD means right or left eye.
  • The plus and minus signs indicate nearsightedness or farsightedness.
  • SPH measures the amount of near or farsightedness you have.
  • CYL measures astigmatism.
  • The number farthest to the right will be your axis.
  • PD measures your eye distance.  






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