You just had your annual eye exam and have given your eye prescription to an optician so you can pick out the perfect pair of new eyeglasses.
You may know in general whether you’re nearsighted or farsighted, but what exactly do all those machines used in your eye exam measure? And what do all the numbers and letters mean on your eyeglass prescription?
Deciphering your prescription helps give you valuable information about your vision and overall eye health. We decode it for you below.
An eye prescription is merely an equation, and your eye doctor’s exam results balance that equation to create the best possible pair of lenses for your eyes.
Your eyeglasses prescription is written in a grid using a combination of numbers and abbreviations, many derived from Latin terms pertaining to the eyes.
It is important to note that an eyeglass prescription is different than a contact lens prescription. Eyeglass lenses are positioned at a distance from the eyes, while contact lenses rest directly on the eye’s cornea. That difference affects the lens power, among other things, required for your eyes to focus properly.
The two prescriptions are not interchangeable.
Nearly 75% of the population needs some sort of vision correction, and the chance that you are one of them increases with age. So schedule an annual eye exam as part of your routine health care, to make sure your eye prescription is up-to-date and providing you with the best lenses for your vision. Life looks so much better in focus!
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The information in this article should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your health care provider about your specific health needs.