How Bad Is My Eye Prescription

How Bad Is My Eye Prescription – A Detailed Discussion

In our stressful life where we all are so busy working and earning through our laptops and mobiles, studying late at night, not having a proper diet, having improper sleep, etc then having weak eyesight can be a common issue.

Also, there are cases when we visit our doctors for testing our eyesight and they write us the prescription for our glasses containing a lot of numbers and abbreviations. But what do they mean? Well, in simple words how bad is my prescription?

It’s not a very big task to read the prescription of your glasses or lenses. The prescriptions may include the abbreviations and numbers such as O.D., O.U., O.S., CYL, AXIS, DV, NV and ADD. Let’s see how to define these letters.


One can easily find the numbers under O.D. and O.S. where O.D. refers to oculus dexter which is the right eye and O.S. refers to oculus sinister which is the left eye. Sometimes you may also see an abbreviation O.U. which is nothing but oculus uterque referring to both the eyes. 

‘+’ OR ‘-‘ SIGN

You will always find a number in the prescription with a positive or negative sign in front of it. Now, what do they reflect? Well, they are also not complicated. Having a plus sign in front of a number simply means that you are a farsighted person which means that you can clearly see the faraway objects but not the nearby ones and a negative sign says that you are a nearsighted person which means that you can see the closeby objects but you feel a little problem in faraway objects. Farsightedness is also known as hyperopia and near-sightedness is known as Myopia. Also, you will need a strong prescription in case the number is larger irrespective of its sign. 

In case of Myopia (-), mild myopia lies in the range of 0.00 to -3.00, moderate myopia lies between -3.00 to -6.00 and high myopia can be -6.00 and higher whereas, in case of hyperopia, mild hyperopia lies between 0.00 to +2.25, moderate hyperopia can be found between +2.25 to +5.00 and high hyperopia can be +5.00 and higher.


You will also see a number reflecting SPH which is spherical correction and is nothing but a number which refers to the degree of correction you need for your eyes. It is measured in diopters and is abbreviated as ‘D’.


Just like SPH, you will also find a number referring to CYL which is cylindrical correction and is used to measure astigmatism. Astigmatism is a condition that can cause blurred vision and can occur due to a variety of reasons. It also comes with a positive or a negative sign and the higher the number becomes, the more astigmatism you have.

Md astigmatism lies in the range of 0.00 to 1.00, moderate astigmatism lies between 1.00 to 3.00 and severe astigmatism can be greater than 3.00.


The axis mentioned in your prescription can lie between 0 and 180 degrees and it helps in knowing where the astigmatism correction should be placed. In simple words, it is used to identify the orientation of astigmatism.


You may not always see an Add part in your prescription but the addition of this part refers that you may need a bifocal or multifocal lens. It is used to correct presbyopia and is simply added magnifying power which is applied to the lower part of your multifocal lenses. It will always come with a plus sign generally, it can lie between +0.75 to +3.00 D.


There may be cases when your prescription does not include this part but what does the Prism mean? If you have an issue related to eye alignment then you need to check this also. One will find a number along with the direction such as base up or base down in their prescription. 


You may also experience some eye differences and, is also common among people dealing with astigmatism. People suffering from this would have different qualities of vision in both the eyes.

The abbreviation like N.V. and D.V. refers to distance vision and near vision respectively.

In case you do not understand anything written in your prescription you can always ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Also, you may find some special or specific types of lenses prescribed by your doctor, they are given by the doctors in order to give you much better and comfortable vision correction.

Improve your eyesight

Not every other individual likes to put glasses or lenses on their eyes therefore they keep on searching for the things that can help them to protect and improve their vision. The process of enhancing the vision may include having or switching to a healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy diet, enough sleep, physically active and quitting all the bad habits like smoking. Proper and regular eye exams and tests, protecting eyes by using sunglasses, eyewear and contacts can help you to protect your eyes.  A person dealing with diabetes, high blood pressure or with a family history in problems related to eyes needs to give more attention and care to their eyes.


It’s a good habit to check your number regularly as it may change as year by year. The number changes more rapidly in children as compared to adults so it’s become very important for a parent to take care of their children’s prescription by visiting their doctor regularly. Your prescription and eyeglasses need to be correct always and you can do this by proper and regular eye checkups and eye exams.

Hope, now you will be able to read your prescriptions without any difficulty and the above points or information will help you in doing so. In case you feel any kind of difficulty in reading your prescription then it is better to ask your optometrist or some medical specialist for help. 

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