Last week we spoke about understanding and reading all the abbreviations in a glasses prescription. Now we are going to get into a little more detail and explain what the Axis and Add parts of the prescription means.
Measured from 1 to 180 the “axis” identifies the section of your lens that needs assistance in correcting the direction of your vision. If you have astigmatism, you’ll notice an axis measurement on your prescription.
If you see an “add” on your prescription, that tells the optician that a person needs an added magnifying power added to the lens. They typically range from +0.75 to +3.00 diopters.
So now when you see a slip of paper given to you by your eye doctor that reads
OD = -4.00 SPH + 3.00 add
OS = -2.00 -0.50 x 180 + 3.00 add
It means this:
For your right eye this translates into you being prescribed -4.00 diopters. By including the SPH means this eye doesn’t have astigmatism and only spherical power is being added to that lens.
In this situation your left eye is being prescribed -2.00 diopters along with a -0.5 diopter cylinder. The axis measurement is 180 and will add -0.5 diopters to correct the astigmatism.
Both eyes are getting added power of +3.00 for a variety of reasons. This could be to correct the loss of power due to age, hereditary reasons or simply downgraded vision.
Now, next time you go to the eye doctor and receive a prescription it won’t just look like a fancy math equation but have some meaning to you behind it.
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